SecOps: Strengthening Cybersecurity in Financial Institutions and Banks

5 June 2023| 4 min|Krzysztof Klamycki - Maintenance & Development Manager

In today’s digital age, financial firms face unprecedented cybersecurity threats that can compromise sensitive data and lead to significant financial losses. The increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks highlight the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures in the financial sector. That’s where Security Operations (SecOps) come into play. 

SecOps is a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that integrates security practices with operations to detect, respond to, and mitigate cyber risks effectively. It consists of the convergence and collaboration of IT security and IT operations to break down silos within the broader IT organization. The primary goal is to achieve security objectives without compromising the overall performance of IT systems.

The rising cyber risk in financial institutions

Financial services have always been prime targets for cybercriminals due to the wealth of information they possess. The financial industry has seen a surge in cyber attacks, with 71% of all data breaches being financially motivated. These attacks range from sophisticated hacking attempts to social engineering tactics to trick employees into revealing login credentials. The consequences of successful cyber attacks in the banking industry are dire, with the cost reaching a staggering $18.3 million annually per company!

One of the most prevalent threats is the deployment of malicious code, which can lead to data breaches and unauthorized access to financial data. Cybercriminals utilize advanced techniques to infiltrate banking networks, bypass security measures, and exfiltrate valuable information. Mobile devices, often used by bank employees and customers for financial transactions, have become a prime target for cyber attackers.

Ransomware attacks pose another significant threat to the banking sector. These attacks involve the use of malicious software to encrypt sensitive data and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid. Phishing attacks also remain a significant concern for banks. Cybercriminals employ deceptive tactics, such as masquerading as legitimate entities or creating convincing fake websites, to trick individuals into revealing their login credentials or other sensitive information. Phishing targets both bank employees and customers, aiming to gain unauthorized access to financial systems or personal banking accounts.

Unfortunately, the banking industry is not immune to cloud-based attacks. As financial institutions increasingly adopt cloud infrastructure for their operations, they become potential targets for cyber attackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities within cloud environments. Breaches in cloud-based systems can result in the exposure of sensitive data and compromise the integrity of banking operations.

Robust cyber security needed

The consequences of these cyber security breaches can be severe. They can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, legal repercussions, and a loss of customer trust. With the financial industry’s interconnected nature, a single vulnerable link in the security chain can have far-reaching implications.

To combat the ever-evolving cyber threats, financial institutions must adopt a proactive cybersecurity strategy. Implementing ServiceNow SecOps practices enables banks to effectively identify vulnerabilities, detect cyber threats, and respond swiftly to security incidents. By streamlining security operations, SecOps ensures that priorities are better managed and consolidated, communication and information are integrated, and tools and technology are joined together. This holistic approach reduces the strain on resources and enhances cyber resilience.

Source: ServiceNow “Enterprise Strategy Group: Security Hygiene Report”

The banking sector frequently faces challenges stemming from isolated information silos and the risks associated with manual processes. This highlights the importance of leveraging trusted and secure technological solutions like ServiceNow. By adopting the ServiceNow platform and its SecOps solution, banks can seamlessly integrate their security processes, reducing the potential for errors and mitigating cyber security risks. The automation and data centralization capabilities of ServiceNow enable efficient incident management and response, ensuring compliance and effectively addressing security challenges. This, in turn, enhances the overall quality of services provided by banks.

Tomasz Prokopowicz, Senior Project Manager and coordinator of the Information Security Management System at SPOC

Benefits of SecOps in the financial sector

1. Enhanced Efficiency: With SecOps, you can automate key security procedures and orchestrate effective responses, saving time and reducing the reliance on manual work. By automating repetitive tasks, security teams can focus on analyzing and mitigating emerging threats, leading to increased operational efficiency.

2. Strengthened Cloud Security: The adoption of cloud infrastructure has brought numerous benefits but has also introduced new security challenges. SecOps provides a framework to minimize cloud security issues by addressing vulnerabilities, ensuring secure configurations, and implementing robust security controls. This results in fewer security breaches, fewer vulnerabilities, and a safer security environment overall.

3. Improved Application Resilience: Application disruptions can have severe consequences. SecOps helps mitigate these risks by reducing configuration errors and ensuring that changes in application code align with deployment rules. By implementing secure coding practices and continuous monitoring, you can maintain the integrity of the software systems.

4. Effective Risk Management: SecOps enables you to identify and address known vulnerabilities proactively. Your organizations can enforce compliance with appropriate standards and regulations by implementing auditing procedures. This helps protect sensitive information and reduces legal costs associated with non-compliance.

ServiceNow SecOps – a solution that looks ahead

ServiceNow provides an all-in-one platform for managing and consolidating security vulnerabilities and incidents. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools and technologies to streamline security operations, facilitate effective communication and information sharing, and automate key security procedures. With ServiceNow SecOps, financial institutions can leverage machine learning capabilities to detect and respond to cyber threats in real time, enhancing their cyber resilience.

Source: ServiceNow https://www.servicenow.com/products/security-operations/what-is-secops.html

Utilizing ServiceNow to optimize cybersecurity in banks significantly reduces time spent on manual work and improves risk management. Through automation and data centralization, employees can focus on responding to potential threats and resolving issues rather than wasting time searching for them. This contributes to increased efficiency and effectiveness, as well as achieving better security outcomes.

Piotr Górnikiewicz, Business Development Manager at SPOC

As the financial industry becomes increasingly interconnected, the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, making it essential for banks to stay ahead of emerging threats. By implementing SecOps practices, you can protect sensitive data, mitigate cyber risks, and maintain the trust of your customers. Investing in cybersecurity solutions like SecOps is crucial to safeguarding the integrity of financial systems and preserving their reputation. If you want to know, contact us.