The Security Intelligence in The Financial Services

Security intelligence is the data related to safeguarding an organization from any outside and inside threats along with the processes, and policies developed to accumulate and evaluate the information.

It can also be referred to as the actual collection, standardization, and analysis of the data created by users, applications, and structures that influence the IT security and risk position of a business.

On a daily basis, information flows in organizations for the senior management to make smart decisions. The various stakeholders (employees, customers, contractors) are interfaced through various technologies.

However, the technological infrastructure can also result in serious security issues. The probable areas of intrusion are unlimited. Security experts and business leaders are trying to find an answer to the question – Is it feasible to have a robust security in an increasingly interfaced environment?

Though the answer is yes, it needs a radical transformation in processes and practices encompassing the financial services sector. The focus is not only on IT. Robust security facilitates a positive customer experience.

Cybercrime and Profitability

Financial institutions are at great risk since they are perceived to be an easy target for cybercriminals. According to a survey by IBM, “Financial markets, insurance, computer and professional services together account for over 40% of all security incidents worldwide.”

The losses, pertaining to cybercrime in other sectors could be due to industrial intelligence and fraud related to intellectual property, but in banking, online fraud is a possibility.

Any fraud related to the intellectual property and industrial intelligence could lead to reduced shareholder value, shut down of the business and net financial losses. These are the issues impacting the global financial sector, not only because the main reasons are not identified or the disruption to the customer is immediate, but also because they can result in a significant loss of money.

As per Andrew Haldane, Financial Stability Director at the Bank of England, “Cyber-risk has become a more pressing concern than economic depression and the Eurozone crisis, as it is a rapidly rising area of risk with potentially systemic implications”.

Comprehending the seriousness of the security risk is only a beginning. Financial institutions must establish an in-depth security intelligence strategy that would enable the financial institutions to have an insight into the perceived threats.

Financial institutions leverage top-notch analytics to get an understanding of:

  • The types of attacks that are occurring.
  • The probable source of the attacks.
  • The technology used by the cyber criminals.
  • Weak spots that could be exploited in the future.

Michael Davison, Banking and Financial Markets, IBM, stated,” There’s not another single issue that unites the interests of so many people at senior levels of banks. It unites technology, the CFO, security and compliance functions. But cybersecurity is also mission critical for people running lines of business and who are running P&Ls. So quite rightly it sits on the Board agenda. But there’s still work to do to educate Boards about the urgency of an effective response to the rapidly changing environment.”

Financial institutions must implement the following practices to get the balance between the required innovation and the related risk:

Establish a risk-conscious culture

  • An organizational transformation with an emphasis on zero tolerance towards a security failure must be established.
  • An initiative encompassing the organizational hierarchy to execute smart analytics and automated response competencies is needed to identify and resolve issues.

Safeguard the Working Environment

The functions in distinct devices must be examined by a centralized authority and the wide array of information in an institution must be categorized, tagged with its risk profile and circulated to the concerned personnel.

Security Design

The greatest problem with the IT systems and the unnecessary costs is from executing services initially and looking at security afterwards. Security has to be a part of the application from the first phase of design.

Ensure A Safe Environment

If the system is secure, security personnel can monitor every program that’s functioning; ensure it is ongoing and operating at optimal level.

Manage the Network

Organizations that route approved data through controlled entry points will be in a better position to identify and separate the malware.

Cloud Based Security

To prosper in a cloud scenario, organizations should possess the technology to operate in a secluded environment and track probable issues.

Involve Vendors

An organization’s security strategy must also involve its vendors and efforts must be made to establish the best practices among the vendors.

Financial firms have been a major target for malware attacks. Several aspects are impacting the financial sector. The direct connection between the breach of several personally identifiable information (PII) to the profitability has not been lost on the global financial stakeholders. This has led to the implementation of several global security projects.

A hazardous type of malware for online financial transactions is “Man-in-the-Browser” intrusions. It happens when a malicious program affects an internet browser. The program adjusts activities conducted by the user and in some instances, can initiate actions independently. It could lead to online stealing.

Financial institutions that can transform radically at a fundamental level, the way they function would be safeguarded.

The aim of enterprise security could initially emphasis on IT structures, it must be extended from the technology personnel & their systems to each individual within the organization, and all the stakeholders conducting business with it.

Financial firms must comprehend the data that they have, which must be made available to the system, where they can compare and develop a real understanding of the actual threats and contingencies that may compromise the business.

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What Are The Services Of A Reliable Financial Adviser?

Almost all individuals face financial problems that can affect their financial stability and future. It gets even worse if you need to deal with numerous issues that can affect the financial status of your business. Luckily, there are now ways to deal with these issues easily. And, this is by working with a financial adviser. With these experts in financing, you can deal with all of your financial problems easily since they offer numerous services. Below are some of the following.

Retirement Planning

One of the best services a financial adviser can offer is retirement planning. After years of working, retirement is the time when individuals can enjoy their life. Unfortunately, there are cases when individuals cannot create a good retirement since they cannot manage financial issues properly. Luckily, financial advisers can provide you with a reliable retirement plans that can match your needs from traveling, investing and even maintaining your lifestyle.

Tax Advice Services

Managing taxes can be a huge task individuals need to do annually which can consume most of your time. This task can be even harder if you need to deal with business taxes. Eventually, financial advisers provide tax advice services to guide you in the entire process. In addition, experts can also help you ensure that you get most out of your tax returns.

Loans

There are some instances when individuals need huge amount of money to match their needs from buying a house or a car up to investing in assets up to funding educational needs of children. And, the best option to match your needs is to apply for a loan. However, applying a loan can sometimes be daunting since you need to pass all the requirements needed. But, if you want to have better loan options, it is best to work with financial advisers.

Insurance

Another wonderful service financial advisers offer that can help improve your financial status is insurance services. These services are important to protect your financial future against unexpected events. With the help of advisers, individuals can make sure that they can organize a cost-efficient insurance that is tailored to your needs.

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5 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.

What Certifications Do You Have?

You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.

What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?

Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.

Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.

What Are Your Fees?

When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.

Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.

What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?

As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.

At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.

How Often Do You Communicate

When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.

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Things You Must Know About Financial Services

Financial services refer to the services provided by the finance industry. Also, this term is used to describe organizations dealing with the management of money, like credit card companies, insurance firms, investment banks, stock brokerages, and banks. These are the types of firms that compromise the market, providing a wide range of investment and money-related services. In terms of earnings, financial services are considered the largest market resource in the world.

Important Things You Must Be Aware Of

Generally, these services are not limited to the field of deposit-withdrawal, investment, and loan services; but rather in the fields of estate, securities, insurance, trust services, and all forms of financial intermediation like the distribution of financial products as well.

Every day, the needs and expectations of consumers are growing. Hence, making the mark in boosting personal wealth becomes a necessity. Intense competition has cuddled market margins as well as forced plenty of companies to cut costs whilst improving the quality of customer choice and service.

As most organizations are striving to be more entrepreneurial and innovative, the war for talent is escalating. And as the products become more complex and the business environment more uncertain, the risks increase. At the same time, rules and regulation are the tightening highlight within the reach of government and public pressure for improved transparency, supremacy, and accountability.

Today, the winners are those firms transforming the challenges into opportunities to establish more enduring and stronger customer relationships, unlock creativity and talent, and to sharpen their process efficiency. Apart from that, these companies also view these challenges as a means to boost their risk management processes so they can deliver more sustainable returns. Furthermore, they use used regulatory demands as a catalyst for improving market confidence and strengthening the business.

The challenges in the financial services market are indeed forcing the participants to keep pace with technological advances, as well as to be more efficient and proactive whilst reducing risks and costs.

Today, there are already a lot of companies working hand in hand with reputable financial organizations around the world to develop a very sound networking strategy for connecting firms with suppliers, employees, partners, and customers.

Indeed, the financial services market is dynamic and diverse. There are plenty of important things you must be aware of to better understand how such industry operates. It is certainly an ever-changing, high-growth, and versatile market. Businesses with various needs must know that such market offers several selections of suitable financial services.

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Are You Confident About Your Financial Future?

We all use it, it is the common way we acquire services and goods on a daily basis. We trade our time for it. We rely on it to provide for our future, stash it away in belief that it will still have value in the future. It is our currency be it Dollars, Euros, whatever, but it is not as trustworthy as you may think. Look I am by no means a qualified financial adviser or guru in any form, but I am going to explain to the best of my ability; that you should start looking at other forms of investment to secure your financial future.

Fiat currency

All national currencies are called fiat currencies. What does this mean? Well Investopedia’s definition of a fiat currency is:

“Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith. Fiat is the Latin word for “it shall be”.” – investopedia.com

So basically, that piece of paper you carry in your pocket is exactly that, a piece of paper that is based on your faith that it will still have the same purchasing power tomorrow as it has today. So what is wrong with that?

Fiat currency, unfortunately, has had a long history of failure. Since the Roman Empire in the first century began with the practice of debasing their currency (adding impurities to their money thereby reducing the value but increasing the amount of currency in circulation) it has led to devaluation and eventual collapse.

Maybe you are thinking that it could not be happening today, I am sorry to say that it is. Our history has had several failed attempts at using paper currency and fiat currencies have never been successful except for political systems trying to prevent the debasement of their currency by letting the printing presses run amok.

It is not all doom and gloom though. I am also not saying this will save everyone, but if you look at countries like China who are stockpiling in gold, maybe we should follow in their footsteps? We all know that gold is valuable and there is only so much of it on our planet, this allows it more stability than fiat currency. Gold has also shown a consistent growth in its life time.

Like I said I am by no means a qualified financial adviser, I am just stating my thoughts and how I feel. And I feel that there is a definite shift in the way the world economy is moving right now. I can’t say if it is going to happen tomorrow or in the next 10 years, but I am sure it will happen. So maybe it will be a good idea to create a secure foundation for your financial future. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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