Zero-Trust Security for Financial Services Companies - Why is it Crucial?

Zero-Trust Security for Financial Services Companies – Why is it Crucial?

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Cybercrime is not only a problem for the future – it’s a problem that businesses face today. And the path forward in tackling this challenge is Zero-Trust security. In this article, you’ll learn how to get started with Zero-Trust Security for Financial Services companies and why is it such a big deal.

Recommended Read: How can SMEs Apply Zero Trust Cyber Security Practices

This is an approach that is potentially game-changing for businesses of all sizes. It could drastically limit the damage potential of an attack and increase the effectiveness of your security suite with relatively little effort. Better than a new technology, Zero-Trust security is about a change in the mindset that enables cybercrime as it is. Keep reading, and you’ll understand why.

What is Zero-Trust Security?

Zero-Trust Security consists of a security approach that limits privileges for all users to the minimum required to operate effectively. This means that nothing within or outside the organisation will have access to any of your assets or network before verification.

The concept was introduced in 2010 by John Kindervag, a former Forrester analyst. It has since gained wide acclaim and approval as a trusted framework for cybersecurity. In simple terms, it could be resumed by the motto: “Never trust, always verify.”

Any security suite will limit access to external actors – as most of the threats are coming from outside – but most of them will not monitor users already within your organisation so closely. That means if a criminal does succeed in breaching your defences, he’ll have mostly free access to your assets and can begin causing damage immediately. 

Related Article: Identity Management and Access Control

In a Zero-Trust scenario, each user, application and device can only access the data and tools they need to get their work done. So a person dealing with your operations will not have access to your financial department, and a photo-editing app won’t have access to your backup tools. 

This limits hackers’ damage potential and ensures your business remains solid even after a security breach. In a world where criminals are constantly looking for exploits in the most common platforms and applications, the Zero-Trust approach is more than welcome.

Why is Zero-Trust Security Vital for Financial Services?

Cybercrime is a problem for businesses of all industries, but it has become a major concern for Financial Services companies. Organisations in this field are amongst the top targets for criminals, and this trend doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Zero-Trust for financial services companies arrives as a needed solution to strengthen existing security layers.

ReadUnderstanding Cybercrime for Financial Services Companies

Finance professionals and companies are advised to invest in the highest security standard and have strict policies and procedures in place. Sadly, even with the best tools in the market, people are still vulnerable to cyber threats. Social engineering attacks, internal breaches (intentional or not) and carefully constructed frauds are happening every day.

Cybercrime today works largely in the following manner: a hacker finds a breach into a network or an account, enabling him to monitor the user and install his shady tools. He can then steal the user’s data and take control of the target. Infiltration requires only a backdoor, which most users can open. By limiting the reach of any potential breach, we can stop the criminal before he can act.

Zero-Trust Security for Financial Services has become crucial in this scenario. In an industry where every data breach can have serious repercussions, there’s no room for error and no privilege should be granted. Security procedures must be taken seriously for data security and compliance reasons. 

Read: Why is Data Security Vital for SMEs in 2022?

In the event of an audit or a data breach, Zero-Trust serves as a strong indicator that the company was taking adequate steps to reinforce security. Providing evidence of this approach may be well-perceived by an auditor.

How to Apply Zero-Trust Security in your Business?

Adopting Zero Trust Security within your business does not mean throwing away your existing security tools and technologies. In fact, according to NIST, Zero-Trust Security must incorporate existing security tools and technologies more systematically.

Build an effective Zero Trust model that encompasses governance policies — like giving users only the access needed to complete their tasks — and technologies such as:

  1. Multifactor authentication
  2. Identity and access management
  3. Risk management
  4. Analytics 
  5. Encryption
  6. Orchestration 
  7. Scoring 
  8. File-system permissions

Having a specialist provider by your side will allow you to implement this approach and improve your overall security posture. Establishing limits for users and applications require an in-depth knowledge of how a Financial Services company operates. A team of experts will advise you on leveraging your technology strategically, allowing for maximum efficiency, protection and growth.

Our team will be happy to assist. Just get in touch,and we’ll be delighted to talk about how we can support your technology, security and compliance efforts.

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