How Financial Services Organizations Can Mitigate Their Top Identity-Related Access Risks

Financial services organizations face numerous challenges in a constantly changing landscape. With increased cybersecurity threats, intensified regulatory requirements, an acceleration of digital transformation, large-scale mergers and acquisitions, and growing customer expectations, these organizations must pursue strategies and programs that mitigate risks, safeguard valuable data, and protect sensitive financial information within their organizations.

Within the last two decades alone, the financial sector has seen increasing data breaches and cyberattacks. Mega breaches, including the Capital One breach that revealed personal information of more than 100 million individuals, have reinforced just how important it is to protect sensitive information. In fact, financial services companies are 300 times more likely than organizations in other sectors to experience cyberattacks, according to CIO Dive.

These overarching challenges create significant roadblocks for financial services organizations today. And together, they contribute to the need for establishing programs that help keep sensitive personal and financial information safe.

That’s Where IGA and PAM Come In

One of the most effective ways to secure sensitive information is through strategic Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) programs and solutions that offer an intelligent path to mitigating identity and access-related risks. IGA helps ensure financial organizations have increased visibility into the identities and access privileges of their users, so they can intelligently and consistently manage who has access to valuable financial data and systems.

Just as important is protecting privileged accounts through Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. Because administrator accounts have elevated privileges that can access valuable financial data and execute applications or transactions—often with little or no tracking control—it can be very difficult to manage privileged accounts. PAM solutions centralize management of administrator profiles and ensure least privilege access is enforced to give users only the access they need.

Top Identity Governance and Privileged Access Management Challenges

According to a recent study, only 53 percent of financial services organizations today are confident in the effectiveness of their identity and access management programs. With only half of all companies confident in their IGA programs, financial institutions face an upward climb to ensuring sensitive financial data is protected across their environments. Let’s take a look at some of the top access-related challenges financial institutions encounter today that can be addressed with improved IGA and PAM programs:

#1: Effectively creating and maintaining account access and privileged access across a disparate digital workforce:

With varying levels of access required for multiple user types across systems, platforms, and devices, including privileged accounts within the organization, financial services security professionals must ensure they intelligently create, monitor, manage, and remove access in a timely manner. This also means securely and efficiently enabling appropriate levels of access across an expansive arrangement of locations, branches, and networks to enable users to effectively perform their jobs.

#2: Creating and managing the ongoing complexity and granularity of user roles and privileged accounts across titles, departments, and applications:

In addition to managing a diverse digital workforce, financial service organizations must ensure their IGA and PAM programs address the specialization and granularity of user roles across departments, titles, and user types. Financial institutions should operate with the policy of least privilege, while still providing users enough access to effectively perform their critical roles within the financial services organization.

#3: Addressing the time and resource requirements for provisioning:

The complexity of the financial services sector has contributed significantly to the time and resources required for user provisioning within organizations today. These growing demands continue to put strain on IT teams to keep up with provisioning and deprovisioning accounts, and ensuring appropriate levels of access are given to the right users.

#4: Ensuring customers receive frictionless experiences and securing sensitive financial information:

With increasing industry and government mandates around sensitive financial data, institutions must ensure they are continuously protecting data to meet ongoing regulatory compliance. This includes monitoring and prioritizing access risks, giving appropriate access levels to financial services staff and customers, and uncovering hidden access levels within the organization.  Financial services organizations must also practice the policy of least privilege access so only those users that need access to data have it when they need it.

#5: Managing brand reputation, access risks, and trust:

Financial services organizations today know the value of keeping valuable financial information secure. And they also know the high cost that a data breach can have on their organization—both in terms of monetary costs and loss of brand reputation. Ensuring customers can trust their organization to keep financial information secure and providing streamlined interactions is essential to financial institutions today. By leveraging intelligent identity governance and privileged access management programs and solutions, organizations can elevate the value of their brand, and build ongoing loyalty and trust with customers.

Start Your Journey to Intelligent Identity Governance and Privileged Access Management

The challenges that organizations face in relation to protecting sensitive data may seem overwhelming. But with the right strategies to guide their organization, financial institutions can leverage a best practice approach for identity governance and privileged access management. There is too much at stake for financial services organizations today to ignore the importance of implementing an intelligent identity governance program and privileged access management solution that mitigates access-related risks across the business.

Investing in IGA and PAM solutions from Core Security enables financial institutions to significantly decrease their risk of attack, supports streamlined regulatory certification and compliance, and increases operational efficiencies—keeping valuable data safe and keeping organizations focused on providing exceptional experiences to customers.

Ready to learn more about mitigating identity-related access risks in your business?

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