Cybersecurity in the financial sector: embracing automation and integration as Excel takes a backseat

The ever-evolving EU regulations present ongoing challenges for financial institutions. Relying solely on traditional methods like countless Excel spreadsheets falls short of ensuring robust cybersecurity measures. The time has come to embrace solutions that offer automation, seamless integration, and utmost protection.

The financial sector faces multiple security challenges and needs to meet stringent regulatory compliance requirements. Introducing the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) imposes new obligations and demands on financial institutions.

To tackle these obstacles, institutions require innovative IT solutions that integrate various security aspects seamlessly and enable centralized management. Leading the way in this field, ServiceNow offers comprehensive solutions that address these needs, ensuring high security for financial institutions.

Simplifying cybersecurity implementation through outsourcing

In cybersecurity, it is crucial to consider the requirements set by the European Union. Financial institutions are responsible for implementing any EU regulations and guidelines changes. When new security requirements emerge as part of regulations, organizations must focus on understanding and implementing these changes to ensure compliance with the law.

There are two primary options for adapting to regulatory requirements. The first option is an internal process where financial institutions analyze the new requirements and determine how to adjust their procedures, systems, and infrastructure accordingly.

However, given the increasing complexity of cybersecurity issues, the financial sector increasingly turns to external partners with specialized knowledge and experience.

These external providers are well-equipped to identify and understand crucial aspects that internal processes may overlook or lose. By collaborating with experienced vendors, organizations can concentrate on their core activities while ensuring that their systems and data are adequately protected and compliant with regulations.

How to navigate the DORA challenges?

The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a comprehensive strategy developed by the European Union to fortify the financial sector’s operational resilience against digital threats. Published in 2020, it aims to ensure security, stability, and data protection within digital financial services.

In light of these challenges, financial institutions must adapt their systems and procedures to meet the new DORA requirements and enhance the security of customer data. Many institutions grapple with this issue, relying on fragmented and non-integrated internal security systems. This is where ServiceNow emerges as a solution, enabling the consolidation of these elements into a unified platform.

ServiceNow integrates security processes into a single platform, eliminating the need for multiple systems and dismantling silos. Financial sector entities can leverage powerful tools like workflows, facilitating the effortless implementation of changes, monitoring compliance with the DORA Directive, and enabling swift response to incidents.

High level of security = data integration

Ensuring robust security is paramount for financial institutions entrusted with vast volumes of sensitive data. ServiceNow offers comprehensive solutions that effectively monitor and safeguard their systems. By integrating diverse security components into a unified platform, financial institutions can seamlessly manage incidents, identify vulnerabilities, ensure compliance with security policies, and streamline security management processes.

Information consistency plays a pivotal role in this context. Traditional approaches often rely on multiple systems and tools, resulting in fragmented information that hampers efficient analysis and response to threats. ServiceNow resolves these challenges by providing a singular source of truth.

With ServiceNow, all security incidents, whether reported by users or detected automatically, are diligently monitored and tracked within a centralized hub. It facilitates prompt identification, analysis, and response to incidents, with the capability to assign them to appropriate specialists for further action. By consolidating incident data and information within a single system, management becomes more streamlined, and complete transparency is achieved throughout the threat response process.

A key attribute of ServiceNow is its incident prioritization capability. Leveraging sophisticated algorithms and predefined rules, the system can automatically assess the severity of threats and assign priority to each incident report. This empowers organizations to focus on incidents with the highest potential impact and immediate risk, ensuring swift and effective response measures are implemented.

Streamlining security operations with automated threat detection

Financial institutions that use ServiceNow solutions can perform regular system scans to identify vulnerabilities and issues in their IT infrastructure. This enables them to assess risks more effectively and take necessary actions to enhance security. Automation eliminates manual data processing, leading to faster identification and remediation of vulnerabilities. In practice, it means fewer errors, as with spreadsheets and incomplete files.

Source: ServiceNow

The financial sector often faces challenges due to isolated information silos and errors resulting from manual processes. Leveraging secure and proven technological solutions like ServiceNow is highly recommended to overcome these challenges. Through ServiceNow’s platform and SecOps solution, institutions can integrate their security processes, reducing the risk of errors. Automation and centralized data within ServiceNow facilitate efficient incident management and response, enabling better handling of security challenges and improving service quality.

Tomasz Prokopowicz, Senior Project Manager, coordinating the Information Security Management System, SPOC

ServiceNow’s Security Operations (SecOps) solution empowers organizations to manage security incidents effectively. By consolidating incident reports in one place and automatically assigning them to the right specialists, organizations can respond to threats promptly and eliminate them swiftly. No more delays in information sharing! Specialized individuals or teams are immediately informed and engaged in resolving the issue.

Moreover, ServiceNow provides transparent progress monitoring for incident resolution, enabling organizations to track and report on their security activities in a better way. This supports compliance monitoring with legal requirements such as the GDPR and security standards like PCI DSS. Institutions can customize reports according to their needs and receive real-time compliance insights.

A single point of Truth for Cybersecurity

ServiceNow provides comprehensive solutions for the financial sector, integrating various security aspects into a single platform. This simplifies security management, helping institutions meet regulatory requirements, protect their clients, and respond effectively to threats.

By using ServiceNow, financial institutions can streamline their cybersecurity efforts, saving time on manual tasks. Automation and centralized data enable specialists to focus on tackling potential threats instead of searching for them. It boosts efficiency, effectiveness, and overall security outcomes.

Piotr Górnikiewicz, Business Development Manager, SPOC

ServiceNow empowers financial institutions to concentrate on vital aspects of their operations. The platform assists in identifying, monitoring, and responding to threats, safeguarding company assets, customer data, and reputation. Thanks to that, the organization can build customer trust and solidify its market position.

If your financial institution seeks expertise in implementing ServiceNow solutions, reach out to us. As a ServiceNow Elite Partner, we possess the knowledge and over a decade of experience to tailor solutions to your specific needs.

SecOps: Strengthening Cybersecurity in Financial Institutions and Banks

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

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.

ServiceNow GRC – leader in IT Risk Management in 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant

ServiceNow GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) was recognized as a Leader in the latest 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant* report of IT Risk Management (ITRM) solutions.

Gartner reviewed a number of ITRM solutions for their ability to handle risks following from the changes applied to the management of digital and security, information, business continuity planning, IT and security compliance. The report recognized ServiceNow especially for the solutions for risk assessment and analysis, control assessment, as well as compliance and cybersecurity risk management.

ServiceNow GRC - Leader in 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant for IT Risk Management tools and how they rank in July 2020.
Source: 2020 Magic Quadrant report for IT Risk Management

ServiceNow GRC – Governance, Risk, and Compliance

ServiceNow Governance, Risk, and Compliance specializes in risk assessment and analysis, control assessment, as well as compliance and cybersecurity risk management. From the Orlando release, the ServiceNow GRC provides a range of risk assessment improvements and supports an increasing number of out-of-the-box risk assessment types and automation of control monitoring.

The GRC suite is already widely applied by organizations that operate in the area of financial services, healthcare, education, life sciences, and government. The decisive aspects for customers who chose ServiceNow are platform functionality, performance, and a roadmap. The platform constitutes a single source of record. Apart from risk management, it offers a wide choice of features, workflows, and processes which may constitute valuable IT-risk data sources for GRC.

ServiceNow GRC solution - functionality map

Source: GRC Product documentation / Orlando release

The other capabilities identified by ServiceNow customers and highly valued by them include sophisticated integrations with third-party tools, digital asset discovery, and near-real-time assessments.

GRC implementation & licensing

Customers most often deploy the platform on the ServiceNow’s infrastructure, however, it doesn’t exclude the possibility to implement on-premises. The platform is available via SaaS, in 2 licensing options: overall employee count or named users. Based on the customer’s subscription complexity and inclusion of other workflows, ServiceNow allows bundling that brings cost optimization.

Learn more

Reach out to us to find out what GRC implementation can bring to your organization.

* Gartner Magic Quadrant research methodology provides a graphical competitive positioning of four types of technology providers in fast-growing markets: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players, and Challengers.