Almost three quarters (74%) of banks and insurers in the UK have experienced a rise in cyber-crime since the pandemic. More than two-fifths (43%) believe that remote working models - with work systems being moved online more than ever before - are to blame for making their organizations less secure.
In part, this is due to many banks having quickly implemented a remote working model to satisfy employee and business needs during the pandemic. An often-piecemeal approach to delivering this model meant that the attack surface expanded and exposed gaps within a long-term security strategy. While these remote models worked in the short term, they were not future proof.
When cybersecurity risks increased, the banking industry experienced a 1318% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021, according to a Trend Micro report. How can banks ensure they are not only protecting sensitive data right now, but managing security effectively for the next five years and beyond? And how can they do so without impacting the user experience and collaborative capabilities of hybrid workforces?
This is a particularly pertinent question for IT leaders, with almost four fifths (80.7%) claiming they are finding it more difficult to spot IT security or business risks brought about by employees working as part of a hybrid workforce. This is where great user experience and workspace security become symbiotic; remote workers faced with obstacles thrown up by inefficient access to systems might take digital shortcuts. Simple examples of this include the use of insecure file-sharing tools, signing up for said tools with personal email addresses, or using a BYO device already infected with malware, which could potentially steal data unbeknown to the user.
So how can organizations simultaneously ensure that workplaces have the right virtual collaborative tools and infrastructure to adapt to changing workplace dynamics?
How to find harmony between seamless access and robust security
As the tension builds between C-suite executives calling for seamless access for employees to drive retention and attraction, and IT leaders - who need to maintain application and device security across cloud-enabled dispersed networks - financial institutions need solutions that create harmony between these conflicting priorities.
Banks, financial services and insurers, who want to build a holistic, future-proof security strategy that does not restrict user freedoms, will be required to implement proactive monitoring, collaborative, flexible, yet secure technologies, which can be accessed everywhere to improve employee experience (EX) and productivity.
These are the four key steps IT decision makers can take to deliver a successful transformation from the ‘sticking plaster’ measures of the early pandemic to a future-proof model:
- A proactive, vigilant approach to security posture with security analytics and risk indexing: a larger hybrid workforce demands that banks rethink traditional perimeter-based security models and keep evaluating security to account for devices, applications, data and, crucially, the people within the business.
- Combining cloud and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) technologies: Hyperconverged Infrastructure is a software-defined unified system, combining all the essential elements of a traditional data center, including storage, compute, networking, and management. Bringing this together with the right cloud technology can aid IT decision makers in striking the balance between seamless user experiences and a successful transformation.
- Fuelling frictionless access across activities: Virtual Desktop Interfaces need to be set up to support teams intuitively, whether it’s enabling cross-border transactions or smarter collaboration. Remote workers also need to be empowered with technology, which allows them to complete highly confidential tasks as easily as they would in-branch or in the office – such as processing identity documents for mortgage checks. Combining VDI deployment with Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) can empower businesses to bulk up security while supporting productivity.
- Simplifying yet strengthening security with managed services: taking into account skills gaps and cost-efficiency requirements, many businesses are discovering that working with a trusted technology partner is the key to gaining peace of mind with security and improving system integration. DaaS provides ongoing support and expertise of a managed services approach, enabling institutions to continually improve all-important aspects of security, service delivery and user experience.
Choosing the right partner can relieve the challenge of mitigating threats.
Leveraging the power of advanced technologies to lead your organization into a successful future isn’t difficult with the right partner to support you. Indeed, it presents banking, financial services and insurance organizations with many exciting opportunities - not least the chance to liberate employees from stale working practices and offer true flexibility around when, where and how work gets done.
By harnessing the right tech and taking advantage of managed consultancy services, the sector can put in place a strategic vision to balance the twin priorities of seamless user experience and robust cybersecurity.
Wipro and Citrix have partnered for over a decade to help enhance business outcomes for some of the biggest names in the banking, capital markets and insurance sectors. To find out how you can benefit from a secure hybrid work solution with superior user experience, visit our dedicated banking, financial services and insurance site.