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Risk mitigation for hybrid workers in the financial sector

Hybrid and remote working solutions have become the new normal. Businesses all around the world recognised the benefits of allowing their employees to choose when to work remotely and when to come into the office – and this has been no different in the financial sector.

The financial services industry is one of the most lucrative sectors in the world. It’s also one of the most heavily regulated, which has led to a high level of IT security. Cyberattacks against Australian financial institutions have risen by more than 300% in the last few years.

However, with the change to remote and hybrid working, it becomes difficult for financial institutions to keep up with technological changes and evolving threats. The result is an increase in IT risks.

Cyberattack risks against finance companies

Employees working remotely are at increased risk to cybercriminals gaining access to sensitive data.

The most common threats faced by the financial sector are:

  • cyberattacks, the most common risk in the financial services industry
  • data breaches and leaks, which can lead to a loss of customer trust and company reputation
  • unauthorised access to sensitive data, which can result in a loss of integrity and confidentiality
  • malware attacks (Trojan viruses, ransomware) that can result in the destruction or alteration of data
  • security systems will not be able to keep up with new threats, leading to a failure to protect company assets

Risk mitigation strategies for hybrid financial workers

Hybrid work trends have made it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to critical information due to vulnerabilities in remote access systems. To reduce this risk, financial institutions need to employ more stringent security measures and ensure their employees are following all policies and procedures:

Finance firms can take these steps:

  • Implement two-factor authentication for all user devices and applications.
  • Closely monitor communication and collaboration tools regulatory compliance for data shared between co-workers.
  • Implement strict policies regarding personal and professional user devices.
  • Secure access to networks through certificate-based identities.
  • Implement VPNs to allow access to internal networks.
  • Ensure all devices used for professional purposes are equipped with antivirus software and updated regularly.

Risk mitigation best practises

Data governance

Data governance is a way to regulate and manage data. It helps ensure that all data is managed in a secure, consistent and reliable manner.

This approach can be applied to any industry where there are large volumes of data being collected and stored. It helps to identify, control and manage the risks associated with the use of personal information.

There are many benefits of implementing a solid data governance strategy in finance businesses. It improves customer experience, reduces risk exposure, improves compliance with regulations, lowers operational costs and enables better decision-making capability.

Data loss prevention

Data loss prevention is a process that prevents sensitive data from being lost or stolen. This can be done by implementing a number of different security measures.

In the finance industry, it is important to have a data loss prevention strategy in place as there are many risks that can lead to data leakage. There are many ways that sensitive data can be leaked, including through social media and through email attachments.

The best way to protect your company from data loss is to have a plan in place before any incident occurs. The plan should include risk assessment, staff training and awareness, and putting in place the right security measures.

Data encryption

Data encryption can minimise the risks of data breaches and other cyberattacks in financial businesses. Encryption protects the organisation by enabling the company to detect and respond to cyberattacks faster, preventing them from causing damage.

It is a key component of the hybrid working process, as it prevents sensitive data from being transmitted over unsecured networks.

Disaster recovery planning

Disaster recovery planning is a process that has to be carried out by every company, to ensure that they are prepared for any eventuality. It can also help them to reduce their risk of being affected by disasters.

In the past, disaster recovery planning was focused on preventing or minimising damage to IT infrastructure. But with the rise of remote work and the increasing use of cloud-based software, disaster recovery planning is now more about protecting and recovering data.

In order to protect their businesses from cyberattacks, financial institutions need to implement a disaster recovery plan that includes both backup and business continuity strategies.

Stay secure with the experts

Companies that allow remote work need to have strong cybersecurity protocols in place, such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and encryption. All remote and hybrid workers should also be required to follow the company’s cybersecurity policy which includes regular training on security risks and how to avoid them.

The cybersecurity technicians at INTELLIWORX can provide you with the tools and solutions to detect, prevent, and respond to incidents, as well as help you recover from them. Talk to them today and find out how you can best protect your hybrid workers.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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