Sponsored by Moxtra
Digital Security in the Financial Sector
Digital customer portals offer the potential to radically transform customer experiences in the financial industries for the better. By offering a unified service experience to customers on digital channels, it enhances customer convenience, availability, and brand assurance.
centralised, managed platform with the highest security standards, enables financial firms to power secure experiences that will supercharge their digital transformation initiatives and enhance customer loyalty – all while reducing cyber risk.
Achieving these goals is highly beneficial to the high-touch service nature of wealth management and banking, as these sectors rely heavily on lengthy paper trails. Today, digital communication is the new normal, adding increasing complexity and opportunity alike. It’s time to start thinking about digital resiliency and how to leverage centralised one-stop customer portals to ease the burden on management and security.
Why security must be delivered by design and default
When new software products are in development, aspects like user experience and efficiency tend to take the center stage. While these factors are highly important, security is often overlooked, especially in the early stages of development. Instead of being incorporated into the design strategy from the outset, security measures may be tacked on later, leaving glaring vulnerabilities behind.
The problem is that 95% of successful cyberattacks are down to poorly programmed software or software with configuration and maintenance issues. This alone is a strong enough case for choosing a secure digital platform that incorporates security by design and is constantly managed and maintained to proactively guard against cyberthreats. After all, the constantly changing nature of the cyberthreat landscape demands a dynamic and proactive counter-approach.
Because customers are becoming warier about providing personal and sensitive data through digital mediums, security by design for online client portals is a business imperative in an age when safety and privacy are among the main purchase drivers — especially for all business communications and transactions.
Here are some of the most important security considerations when rolling out a client portal for financial services:
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Capturing mission-critical data for easier auditability
You cannot protect what you don’t know about, and it is impossible to achieve rigorous security without having complete visibility into your digital activities. Especially in paper-heavy sectors, it can be notoriously difficult to maintain accurate, relevant, and up-to-date audit trails. The same is true when relying on a myriad of different digital communication channels. This means it is much harder to get to the root cause if something goes wrong.
A digital client portal should serve to simplify security by consolidating all communications and documenting all interactions. In addition to tracking potential security issues like failed or suspicious login attempts, full auditability also helps deliver better customer service by identifying issues with everything from response times to service availability.
Encrypting data to meet the demands of compliance
Encryption is a critical layer of security, and no potentially sensitive business or personal data should be without it. Encryption helps businesses secure their client portals, as well as meet the growing demands of regulatory compliance.
Since client portals are regularly used for the secure exchange of financial and other sensitive data, they are subject to privacy laws like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which explicitly states the requirement for end-to-end encryption. Along with other federally mandated privacy laws, the GLBA also prohibits the sharing of financial information over email, thus making a secure client portal a practical and legal necessity.
Centralizing operations for better security management
One of the biggest barriers to enabling more secure and efficient client communications is the constantly increasing complexity and diversity of today’s technology. With more systems and apps than ever before, continued technological development has left many businesses with a fragmented infrastructure that is notoriously hard to manage and protect. For example, clients may connect with their account managers on a variety of disparate platforms which are impossible to track with confidence. When exchanging documents, some may use email, while other situations demand a more secure digital platform. Naturally, it is much harder to secure such a wide range of communications.
By centralizing all customer-facing operations and keeping all interactions in one place, digital portals can simplify security and give organizations a transparent overview of mission-critical processes. Instead of trying to protect and manage emails, text messages, video conferences, and document signage across a whole range of different platforms, a digital portal should offer everything all in one place. From a security perspective, this means consolidating all the single points of failure into one system that can be protected easily and comprehensively.
Maintaining granular control over user access
One of the challenges in deploying any IT system is achieving the right compromise between accessibility and security. On one hand, clients depend on consistent availability and access to their services, whether this involves signing time-sensitive documents or communicating their urgent needs. On the other, enabling these factors must not come at the cost of reduced information security. Thus, granular access control, ideally following the principles of zero trust and least privilege, is essential for any secure client portal.
Granular access control determines the various rules and variables that need to be in place before a client can legitimately access their account. Broadly speaking, there are six factors involved in this process:
Who can legitimately gain access to the system.
Why a client should be able to access the system.
What controls are in place to enforce access controls.
When clients can access specific services.
How clients can verify their identities.
Where clients can access the system from.
By maintaining a private and secure portal within an organization, companies can ensure that they are securely controlling access permissions and maintaining information security with tailored oversight.
Planning for functionality and growth… without adding risk
The combined benefits of flexible deployment options and centralised management mean that it should be much easier to adapt and scale with demand. By contrast, financial firms that rely on many different communication and collaboration platforms have a lot more to manage. Consolidating these client-facing operations helps them overcome the challenges of scale without adding unnecessary risk.
Client portals must be designed and implemented with future functionality and growth in mind. Integrations with other mission-critical digital assets are also important to maintain a seamless user experience. This is far easier to achieve with a managed solution that is regularly updated in accordance with customer demands, instead of a highly complex and expensive custom-made platform. With a private managed solution that tracks all customer activity, a persistent relationship seamlessly transitions within the organization and account managers, reducing customer churn. This will also reduce the administrative and maintenance burden and help keep costs to a minimum.
Moxtra helps financial businesses drive persistent customer relationships with private, branded apps. Get in touch today to get started with your digital portal.