How fibre internet secures sensitive financial data

How fibre internet secures sensitive financial data

Increased consumer demand for digital tools along with mounting concern about data security has put immense pressure on today’s financial institutions. They have to adopt new technology while also being leaders in data security, neither of which is a core service offering.

To ensure they can implement new tools and processes while securely delivering financial expertise to clients and other financial institutions, banks need to invest in future-proof infrastructure like fibre to the premises (FTTP). They also need to train their staff to be especially vigilant about security threats.   

Demand for digital tools

In a study last year by the Canadian Bankers Association, more than 68% of Canadians do the majority of their banking with digital tools. In another report by Forbes magazine, companies that don’t adapt to the demand for online and mobile options will be left behind.

A 2016 survey conducted by Accenture, a global management consultancy, found that as consumers demand more, they are more likely to switch banks. In a 2015 survey, 11% of respondents had switched from a conventional bank to a virtual bank.

The same survey found that consumers are increasingly interested in options like robo-advisors. Consumers are attracted to the speed and convenience of these tools. In fact, 75% of respondents indicated they would be interested in such advice regarding asset allocation or opening a new account.

With fibre internet connectivity, financial institutions can provide all the tools their customers will want in the coming years.

Cybercrime is a big concern

With more data online comes more security threats. An article in the Vancouver Star, states that 75% of Canadians are concerned about the security of their personal data. These concerns are valid, given that cybercrime is on the rise in Canada. According to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), another global consultancy, 55% of Canadians have been victims of cybercrime in the last two years, and the other 45% may be simply unaware.

The best defense against cybercrime is concealment. If a cybercriminal can’t find you, they can’t victimize you. A dedicated fibre MPLS network gives financial institutions that kind of invisibility. MPLS networks provide the same kind of shield as a virtual private network (VPN) without its typical latency.

Banks have to contend with bigger security challenges than other institutions. In an article called The dark heart of banks’ digital transformation, Simon Brady, writing for Euromoney states:

“Banks already have the largest attack surfaces and face the widest range of attackers and attack types of any businesses. Now with their strategies dependent on rapid digital transformation, they are exposing themselves to a potentially existential threat on an ever-expanding cyber battlefield.”

Brady argues that the work of integrating new technologies such as analytics, and the automation of banking tasks is not only a massive undertaking, it also increases the risk to mission-critical data.

Banks, says Brady, are prime targets in cyberspace for the same reason they have always been robbed: for the money. Cybercrime can be a very lucrative undertaking when the targets are financial institutions. A case in point is a cybercrime gang that was in operation from 2013 to spring 2018 and used malware to attack European financial institutions. During that time the organization caused losses of more than 1 billion euros.

Surprisingly though the weakest link in a bank’s security is their staff. The easiest way for a hacker to get past security is by tricking an employee into opening a malware-infected email. This process, known as phishing, is one of the most common breaches. That’s why staff training is critical to securing the network. Email scams can be very sophisticated, and detailed training and protocol development is the best way banks can avoid an attack.

Another vulnerability for banks, according to Brady, is the need to protect their reputation. Once an organization’s reputation has been damaged, it’s almost impossible to recover.

A secure MPLS network can act as the first line of defense for financial institutions. Once Axia has installed a dedicated FTTP connection, you can rest easy knowing that your communications are protected by the very best in infrastructure security. Axia’s 16,000 kilometers of fibre optics spans the entire province of Alberta – making it a great option for enterprises looking to improve security, reliability, and resiliency.

When your business success depends solely on your reputation, you have to do everything you can to protect it. From infrastructure investment to staff training, every effort will yield huge returns.

For more information on our secure fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at sales@axia.com or 1-866-773-3348.

 

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