Confidential Computing in finance: Bridging innovation, security, and regulation
Increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats from malicious actors are targeting financial institutions more and more, while ever-growing regulatory commitments – including the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) introduced earlier this year – are compounding the number of issues which security professionals are having to keep on top of to ensure smooth operations.
It is for these reasons that top banks and other financial services institutions (FSIs) are turning to confidential computing – a term which refers to the use of advanced technology and security measures to protect sensitive financial
data and computations from unauthorised access or exposure, even when it's being processed or analysed in external or third-party environments.
In this FStech podcast, FStech editor Jonathan Easton is joined by Dr. Richard Searle. vice president of Confidential Computing at Fortanix, to discuss why the technology is emerging as a critical component of modernising financial services and its ability to help FSIs strike a balance between innovation and security in an increasingly interconnected and data-driven industry.
The impact of rising costs on affordability for small businesses in the UK
After a long period of low interest rates, we’ve recently seen unprecedented rises in the Bank of England base rate to levels not seen in more than a decade causing significant concern for consumers which is being compounded by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
While the implications of current economic uncertainties are grabbing headlines for how household finances are being affected, underreported is the impact these uncertainties are having on businesses which might not be able to absorb these temporary operating cost increases.
In this latest FStech podcast John Griffiths, Market Engagement Director, Credit & Risk, Business Information at Experian, discusses the company’s latest Affordability Report which outlines how rising costs have impacted small businesses in the UK and that while we may be seeing increasing interest rates, economic performance has been resilient, despite the challenges of the latter half of 2022.
Future-proofing CX in finance: Trends, technologies, and strategies
The role of a financial institution’s approach to customer experience (CX) is something which should never be underestimated. With the wealth of options available to customers in 2023 – whether they are consumers or enterprise – banks, insurers and other financial institutions need to look for ways that they can stand out from the crowd.
The latest State of Customer Experience Europe repor from Genesys presents a fascinating and illuminating insight into this area and “uncovers how rapidly shifting customer preferences and declining satisfaction with digital channels are creating mounting business risks for organisations worldwide.”
In this FStech podcast, David Porter, Industry Director of Global Financial Services at Genesys joins FStech Editor Jonathan Easton to discuss the report’s findings, examine where banks are falling behind in CX and answer how they can set themselves apart by prioritising the wants and needs of their customers.
Tackling cybercrime at the root – the importance of prevention in financial cybersecurity
While cyber crimes are a reality that cyber professionals in the financial sector have had to and will continue to live with, bank fraud teams have long been focusing on analysing instances of fraud after they happened. There is however now growing momentum for financial institutions to take a more proactive approach to preventing cyber threats before they can take hold.
In this podcast, Dr. Trevor Human, Director of Professional Services at HID Global, joins FStech Editor Jonathan Easton to discuss how financial institutions can be proactive in their approach and how can they prevent cyber attacks on their infrastructure.
Modernizing Insurance: A reality check
In today’s world of digital platforms, the insurance industry is racing to catch up with customer demand for real-time, personalised services across a range of channels and apps.
But as the InsurTech competitors step up the speed and ease of access to insurance and begin to build the Open Insurance ecosystem, more established players are struggling to prioritise and orchestrate the cultural, technological and infrastructural shifts necessary to adapt to the new realities of digital business.
During this podcast we were joined by Jeff Picozzi, global insurance lead at Red Hat look at some of the key modernisation strategies available to insurers and conduct a reality check on just how advanced the industry is in its shift to digital, as well as what the future of the Open Insurance ecosystem looks like.
Data platforms: How are FSIs transforming the customer experience?
The tidal wave of digital financial services driven by the pandemic has put data and analytics squarely at the centre of growth strategies for FSIs.
But as customers demand ever-more personalised and efficient services many firms are struggling to keep up, with vital data stuck in silos and legacy systems making it a near impossible challenge to draw out key insights.
To tackle this challenge, many FSIs are exploring the potential of end-to-end data platforms, which use AI, machine learning and automation to consolidate data and unlock the potential of data assets.
To delve further into these topics and explore potential solutions, FStech was joined by Anubhav Mehrotra Senior Vice President and Head of Financial Services UK&I at HCL Technologies.
Can we stop criminals using corporates to launder money?
Despite the best efforts of regulators, organised crime continues to represent a huge part of the global economy. Criminal groups are funnelling billions of dollars of revenue every year through accounts, which needs to appear to be legitimate. With the large transactions involved, criminals are favouring companies as convenient fronts to launder money at scale, because consumer accounts simply can’t handle the numbers.
Banks who are found to be assisting organised crime by facilitating illicit transactions face huge potential financial losses, regulatory penalties, and the threat of long-term reputational damage. Many banks, even in a digital age, still rely on paper to a large degree, or struggle with a myriad of data access and data governance issues across different localities as they onboard corporate clients and carry out AML risk assessments. In response, many banks are exploring how they can leverage data analytics and real-time transaction monitoring in the fight against money laundering.
To delve further into these challenges, as well as some possible solutions, Will McCurdy, Content Editor at FStech spoke to Adam McLaughin, Global Head of Financial Crime Strategy and Marketing at NICE Actimize.
How is data helping companies fight evolving fraud risks?
The face of fraud is changing. Whether you look to the rise of romance scams, purchase scams, or the emergence of new types of crypto and investment fraud, novel strands and variants are emerging almost every day. And with many UK workers still working remotely, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the increased attack surface which the shift to remote working can offer.
Though financial institutions have taken steps to stem the growth of fraud, including the introduction of Confirmation of Payee (CoP), these steps haven’t been enough to impede its growth.
As part of efforts to stop fraud, companies are turning towards data analytics, blending a combination of data from different sources, as well as leveraging the power of AI and machine learning (ML) to pick up on suspicious activity. This is helping to inform their efforts as they fight Authorised Push Payment fraud and scams, customer account takeover attempts, card fraud, and money mule activity.
To discuss these challenges, as well as some possible solutions, Will McCurdy, Content Editor of FStech spoke to Freddy Arthur, Fraud Strategy Leader for EMEA at NICE Actimize.
Prevention vs cure: What are the best cyber security approaches for FS companies looking to control the cost of cyber liability insurance?
Research shows that organisations with compromised user credentials (normally through data breach) are many times more likely to fall victim to a ransomware attack. And when you consider that the rate of ransomware attacks has more than doubled in the past year, it’s no wonder that the cost of cyber liability insurance - which is designed to support a business in the event of an attack or a breach - has risen exponentially in the last year.
Many insurance providers now expect to have visibility of a network’s data security and potential vulnerabilities before they are able to assess risk and make an accurate quote for coverage. And with the cost of coverage reaching tens of thousands of pounds per year depending on an organisation’s size and cyber risk exposure, financial services providers are under growing pressure to prove to insurers that they have the right authentication, controls, and oversight to stop the bad actors at the front door - or risk hefty premiums.
In addition, failure to arrange the right cyber liability coverage can leave FSIs either overcharged or dangerously exposed to the financial and reputational consequences of a successful cyber attack, meaning an ounce of prevention in this case is worth far more than a few pounds of cure.
During this podcast FStech was joined by Richard Archdeacon, advisory CISO at Duo, now part of Cisco, to delve further into these challenges. Specifically, Richard explores who should be responsible for cyber oversight, what insurers are looking for when it comes to weighing up the cost of a cyber-attack, and what financial institutions should have in place before they even begin talking to an insurer for cover.
How can FSIs ensure compliance as channels of communication evolve?
There has never been a time when FS firms didn’t have to deal with monitoring illicit employee communications. But the introduction of ever more channels of communication, with new apps appearing seemingly every month, means there are more ways than ever for mishaps - and malicious activity - to fall under the radar.
Organisations now need to shift through unprecedented volumes of metadata to pick up on "signals" which can indicate compliance infractions. Particularly as evolving data protection and data privacy regulations in the UK, the US, and Europe mean that the potential negatives of non-compliance are higher than ever before.
As a result, many firms are turning towards AI and machine learning to sift through their metadata, and to pick up on valuable signals that can save their firms from potential disaster.
To delve further into these challenges as well as some possible solutions, FStech was joined by Shaun Hurst, Principal Regulatory Advisor and Dr Kevin Keenan, Senior Director of Data Science at Smarsh.
Digital workers: How is AI changing the rules for sanctions and compliance teams?
Compliance teams in financial services companies are currently battling a perfect storm of new and complex challenges; a rise in global regulatory action combined with new sanctions on entities and individuals following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to an exponential increase in workload for employees.
Alongside this, employees are also shouldering the burden of staff shortages as financial services firms battle for specialised talent with big tech companies in the era of the Great Resignation, all while firms look to tighten their belts to cope with rising inflation and costs.
As a result, compliance teams are experiencing burnout, overwhelm and exhaustion, pushing them to seek out other opportunities and compounding the problem for managers.
To combat these challenges and free up staff time for value-add tasks, some FS firms are exploring the potential of AI-driven digital workers. This highly specialised digital workforce is being used to replicate many of the more manual and process-based tasks performed by sanctions teams, with avatars functioning as hyper-efficient members of the team. FS firms are also using these digital workers to scale flexibly at peak times and reduce capacity or virtual headcount in a responsible way if demand falls.
During this podcast, FStech was joined by Daniel Hazel, Global Head of CLM at WorkFusion to talk us through the role that digital workers can play in lightening the load on an overstretched sanctions workforce.
Data streaming: unleashing the value of data in motion in financial services
For many financial services institutions (FSIs), data is a critical part of their operations. However, the millions of accrued datapoints that traditional finance institutions hold are only as valuable as they are accessible.
For traditional FSIs, accessibility is often a sticking point. All too often, useful data that could be meaningfully deployed is stored in legacy data repositories and is therefore difficult to access in an efficient manner. FinTechs, deployed with digital-first in mind at the outset, are generally not faced with this issue.
Data streaming can overhaul existing infrastructure and harness data so it is available on-demand as organisations require it. Beyond accessibility, a data streaming solution has the potential to analyse data in new and innovative ways which can add greater value from the front to the back office of an organisation.
During this podcast, FStech was joined by Peter Pugh-Jones, part of the financial industries team at Confluent, to talk us through the way in which a data streaming solution can leverage and apply data in ways the result in quick, improved decision-making and help realise insights that enrich the customer experience.
The next big leap in cloud for FS
The shift to cloud in financial services is now well underway, with large institutions at various stages of their cloud journey in a bid to keep up with the rapid digitization of products and services, and the need to access and leverage data from multiple locations.
However, for most firms what they have done so far is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential of cloud to transform businesses.
To examine the next big leap in cloud, FStech was joined by Anubhav Mehrotra, Head of Financial Services, UK & Ireland at HCLTech.
The podcast covered how financial services providers are planning to leverage the full value of cloud technology for the next phase of company-wide digital transformation as well as key strategies for dealing with a growing list of challenges from changing regulatory requirements, to legacy systems and skills shortages.
Fighting fraud – disruption, regulation and the UK's ongoing battle with cyber crime
In mid-2021, UK Finance revealed that banking customers in the country lost a record 1.3 billion pounds in 2021 to cyber fraud, arguing that the country is experiencing an 'epidemic of fraud' and that 'collaborative action' is required in order to regain control.
Not even the government is insulated from this—it admitted that as much as 4.9 billion pounds of the 47 billion pounds lent by banks to 1.1 million companies between May 2020 and March 2021 as a part of the government's Bounce Back Loan programme was lost to fraudsters.
To cover the regulations and technologies being deployed to combat fraud, FStech was joined by Chen Kirsch, Senior Business Consultant at Nice Actimize.
On the podcast, Chen Kirsch and host Jonathan Easton discussed whether measures like Confirmation of Payee (CoP) will reduce the fraud and scam risks associated with Authorised Push Payments (APP). There are concerted efforts to help with APP risks and all aspects of financial controls are currently being reviewed. Controls like fraud technology, fraud prevention regulations focused on consumers and financial institutions, and the role third-parties can play in combatting cybercrime in the financial sector.
How to remain resilient on your cloud journey
Financial Services organisations are expanding their services and moving an increasing number of vital applications to the cloud.
Almost half of FSIs use a multi-cloud strategy, using an average of three cloud providers, and this number is set to rise.
At the same time, the regulators want to add a layer of protection. The European Union’s incoming Digital Operational Resilience Act, or DORA, aims to improve the digital resiliency of the entire financial system.
To delve further into these challenges and find possible solutions for FSIs, FStech was joined by Armin Warda Chief Technologist FSI - EMEA at Red Hat.
The podcast looked at how FSIs can overcome issues that prevent them satisfying consumer expectations and the demands of regulators.
Evolving opportunities for digital leaders in financial services
There are a number of key challenges facing organisations looking to establish themselves as digital leaders in the financial sector, but fundamentally it boils down to two key factors: technology, and mindset.
The first is a question of how FSIs can excel and exploit the opportunities in the market if you don’t have the right equipment. The second comes down to a wider shift in approach and attitudes to truly disrupt the market.
In this podcast, FStech Editor Jonathan Easton and Hector Arias, Banking Sector Global Lead, at enterprise open source software leader Red Hat discuss the findings of company’s recently published report, Evolving Opportunities for Digital Leaders in Financial Services, and how FSIs can champion innovation in the industry.
Why financial services firms need an open hybrid cloud
Financial services institutions are increasingly turning to hybrid cloud solutions as they modernize their organizations and look to meet customer demand for digital services. But what does this actually look like?
Taking an open source approach to cloud can also help to overcome some of the key pitfalls many FSIs fall into when it comes to cloud transformation, such as cloud-vendor lock-in, growing regulatory pressures and the change in culture and skills required by new ways of storing, using and sharing data.
An open source approach to hybrid cloud can offer distinct benefits, such as enhanced support, more freedom with cloud- and vendor-agnositicism, and ability to scale with greater consistency and efficiency, but how advanced are FSIs in their cloud journeys, and what are some of the main business challenges faced by organisations as they seek to harness the advantages of the cloud?
To delve further into these challenges, FStech was joined by Nikolai Stankau, Director for Business Development at Red Hat.
How is data driving customer value and business decision making for FSIs?
In the last 12 months, a digital tidal wave has hit the financial services industry, leading to a corresponding surge in data volumes. But as the data landscape becomes more complex, many financial services providers are buckling under pressure to ensure that more data translates into greater value for the customer and better business decision making.
with data locked in silos across disparate business units, and legacy technology often providing a further barrier, many are finding that efforts to leverage data from across the enterprise for business gains are more of an aspiration than a reality.
Coupled with this, FSIs are also operating in a changing risk landscape while pressure grows to make operations more compliant, streamlined, and efficient.
To explore these challenges and possible solutions in more detail, FStech was joined by Joe Lichtenberg, director of product and industry marketing, at InterSystems.
Fraud in Focus: Shifting from fraud detection to fraud prevention
The rapid rise in digital and online activity has opened up a new battleground in the fight against fraud for financial services providers (FSIs), who face a range of emerging fraud vectors and increasingly sophisticated scams.
And while customers moving online provides the perfect cover for criminals looking to carry out authorised push payments (APP), synthetic ID and transaction fraud, other trends, such as the rise in information from data breaches being sold on the dark web, and sophisticated website-related fraud are also on the up.
As a result, FSIs are racing to keep up with this fast-changing risk landscape as they look to protect customer data and their own systems from fraud. At the same time, customers are expecting an increasingly streamlined payments service across digital channels and mobile, creating a perfect storm of risk for FSIs looking to reduce friction while managing evolving fraud risk.
To delve further into these challenges FStech was joined by Glenn Fratangelo, Head of Strategy and Marketing, Enterprise Fraud Management at Nice Actimize.
How are FSIs using their security strategy to elevate consumer interactions?
Over the past eighteen months, the UK financial industry has been forced to react quickly to a rapidly changing fraud landscape. As the nature of fraud activity shifts, banks and other financial institutions are facing a myriad of new risks, threats, and challenges.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on people's lives, forcing the sector to deal with increasingly difficult consumer circumstances. Financial services providers have had to approach these unprecedented scenarios with a level of sensitivity and compassion. Many are looking to security strategies that streamline the authentication process, to ensure customer interactions are as stress-free and simple as possible.
To explore some of these challenges and opportunities further, FStech was joined by Ian McGuire Security and Biometrics Specialist at Nuance.
How can technology improve trading workflows?
Trading has traditionally always been an office-based activity. However, the demands of the pandemic didn’t make many allowances for tradition or for company culture. Firms had to adapt their trading operations to a work from anywhere model practically overnight regardless of their circumstances.
In response, many FSIs are turning towards voice-based technology and biometrics to replicate the benefits of a real-life trading floor in today’s hybrid office, and to ensure compliance and security against a complex regulatory backdrop.
To explore some of these challenges and opportunities further, FStech was joined by Tim Carmody, Chief Technology Officer, at IPC Systems.
Automation in FS: Myths vs Reality
Much has been written about automation, with banks, insurers and FinTechs all exploring the potential for automated technologies to drive efficiencies by replacing manual tasks, accelerate workflows and create new products and services through AI and machine learning.
But how true is it to say that financial services companies have fully embraced automation, and how many are still just at the start of their journey, even after the digital shockwaves of the pandemic?
And once the technology is implemented, what processes are ripe for automation, which are proving more of challenge, and how are senior leaders integrating automation into company cultures without fuelling employees’ fears over the changing nature of work?
To discuss these questions in more detail FStech was joined by Monica Sasso, chief technologist for EMEA at Red Hat.
Unlocking the value of Open Banking
Open Banking has been active in the UK since the start of 2018, with consumers starting to realise the benefits of easier account aggregation and data sharing between banking apps. But take-up has been mixed across different areas of the industry and end-user concerns still remain around security and privacy.
Open Banking solutions provider Yolt Technology Services recently researched the topic, uncovering both business and customer attitudes to the API revolution. This podcast features a one-on-one interview with their chief business officer Leon Muis, digging into the survey findings to figure out the key challenges and opportunities within Open Banking.
How are banks providing omnichannel customer experience?
In the on-demand economy, customers now expect to be able to engage with their service provider - be it a streaming service, online retailer, or banking provider, at the click of a button and on the channel of their choice.
As a result, financial services providers are under mounting pressure to leverage data, AI and automation to provide a personalised and seamless customer experience, whether the customer is accessing online, via an app or calling the customer service phone line.
And while FinTechs and InsurTechs enable customers to switch smoothly between online chatbots and a human advisor, more established banks are struggling to connect all of the elements of the customer journey.
To delve further into the key challenges and opportunities for FSIs in building an omnichannel customer journey. FStech was joined by Monica Hovsepian, Head of Worldwide Financial Services Industry Strategy at OpenText.
A busy time to be a CIO
The last six months have been some of the busiest ever for chief information officers, who have had to deal with the challenge and opportunity of one of the largest surges in technology investment in history – with companies spending around $15 billion extra a week on tech.
That’s according to the latest research from Harvey Nash and KPMG, which surveyed more than 4,200 IT leaders, who preside over a combined spend of over $250 billion.
This podcast features and interview with Steve Bates, a principal at KPMG and global leader of the firm’s CIO Centre of Excellence, picking through the findings to assess the biggest trends and most likely future scenarios.
The importance of internet exchange points
The Coronavirus crisis has accelerated the rate of digital transformation within financial services, with companies from incumbent institutions to disruptive startups making sure they have the tech infrastructure to cope with increased online demand.
But one often overlooked factor in these strategic shifts is the role of internet exchange points, with more and more FinTech firms looking to take control of their connections, rather than use third parties.
So this podcast features a discussion with Nurani Nimpuno, Head of Global Engagement at the London Internet Exchange (LINX) - one of the longest serving global link points - to talk through the trends and assess the future of this sector.
The ticking time bomb of outdated file transfer systems
Legacy IT systems are still common across financial services, but the recent lockdown-driven shift to online banking has meant many are being stretched to their limits by digital demand.
This, coupled with the fact that most are on-premise - requiring physical maintenance in a time of remote working - means that the scale and complexity of IT upgrade projects has also increased recently.
One particularly risky element is File Transfer Protocols, which are usually only password protected, and therefore outdated in terms of modern multi-factor security standards. With more sensitive customer data being sent than ever, it’s crucial that this is safe from cyber criminals – who are increasingly targeting financial services firms.
To get a better idea of the extent of the problem, and discuss some of the potential tech solutions, this podcast features a conversation with Gregory Mooney, community development manager for IT and security at Progress.
Connecting data assets to get ahead
Now more than ever, having a clear view of customer information can be the difference between success and failure in the modern financial services marketplace.
With teams and technology stretched to the limit, not to mention company budgets, it’s crucial to make the most of the data assets you already have. But even for less legacy-burdened firms, this can be distributed across a variety of different systems, servers, databases and departments.
Working out a way to gather this data together in one place can revolutionise product development and customer service, giving easy access to key insights and freeing up IT staff to concentrate on more valuable tasks.
To talk about these challenges and opportunities, this podcast features a chat with some experts in the space: Alex Jones, EMEA Senior Director for Customer Success at data specialist Fivetran, and Hendrik Brakmann, Director of Data Science and Analytics at business banking challenger Tide.
Finding the UX sweet spot for online banking
Financial services firms are increasingly striving to hit that sweet spot between security and usability, giving a seamless user experience (UX) while protecting them from harm online.
As we all spend more time at home during the pandemic - rather than in the office or visiting a bank branch - it becomes all the more important to get the amount of friction right. More than anything, it’s crucial to acquire and keep customers, who are looking for quick sign-up, easy everyday authentication and confidence in how safe their money is.
This podcast features a conversation with Paul Jones from HID Global’s new Consumer Authentication business unit. We discuss what goes on behind the shiny mobile app, how banks sometimes trump governments in terms of identity trust and what’s next in Know Your Customer tech.
The rise of DevSecOps in financial services
As financial services organisations are forced to accelerate digital transformation initiatives to meet consumer and colleague demand for mobile and remote access to apps and sites, many are moving their tech and culture to DevOps.
Development and operations have never been more crucial to the running of a modern financial firm, then throw in the rising need for cyber security protections and you’ve got DevSecOps.
Cloud-based, agile and often automated with forms of artificial intelligence, this business methodology is increasingly separating the winners from the losers in sectors like banking and payments.
This podcast features a discussion on these topics with a couple of experts from a software security company Checkmarx - Director of Product Management Yael Hoze and UK Sales Engineering Team Leader Andrew Thompson.
Can FinTech partnerships get banks to better-serve SMEs?
The Coronavirus recession has made banks increasingly reluctant to provide accounts and finance to small businesses - apparently down to the higher regulatory burden and a perception that SMEs are riskier and more resource intensive.
This presents a huge problem for legitimate businesses, as it disrupts their business continuity and growth. A multitude of FinTech firms are seizing the opportunity to serve this sizeable chunk of the UK economy, and some of them are looking to coax traditional banks back in via partnerships and collaboration.
This podcast features a conversation with Søren Skov Mogensen, Chief Growth Officer at Banking Circle, which has conducted research into the subject.
How to spot the weakest link in your cybersecurity armour
As the pandemic moves employees as well as their devices and their workloads into remote locations, the cyber criminals have followed them there. As a result, a company is only as safe as the weakest link in its network, and must identify it before the attackers can exploit it.
And as surging demand for online financial services accelerates digitisation across the industry, it is not just users, applications and emails that need to be safeguarded: data workloads, operating systems and back of house infrastructure are also vulnerable to the changing threat landscape, be it nation state attack mercenary hackers or insider threat.
This podcast features a discussion of these challenges with Zeki Turedi, regional Chief Technology Officer at Crowdstrike, a cloud-based security platform provider, who helps us to explore the options for financial services institutions as they adapt their security transformation strategy to the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
Data on-demand: how is data governance changing the face of asset management?
With rising demand for digital services and real-time decision making in financial services, there is a renewed focus on properly governed data as the fuel for this transformation — and the world of investment and asset management is racing to catch up. Following the arrival of on-demand culture, with employees able to call up the data, movie or product they need at the touch of button on Amazon or Netflix, the days of trawling through an Excel database or legacy systems for the information they need is no longer an option.
As a result, asset management leaders need to ensure that teams and stakeholders have access to the information they need for fast, efficient, and transparent decision-making in real time while ensuring that data governance and compliance controls are front of mind.
This podcast features a discussion with Dean McIntyre, Director of Strategy at FactSet, an integrated data and software solutions provider, to explore the issues surrounding data governance and how asset managers can empower staff from front to back office, reduce operating costs and ease compliance in an on-demand culture.
Earn my trust: Enabling data sharing with identity verification
Rising awareness of data privacy among consumers has made secure identity verification essential for building customer trust, proving to them that the data fuelling a wide range of apps and digital services is securely stored and out of the reach of unscrupulous cyber criminals.
However, for financial services firms, this secure exchange of data goes both ways: companies need to be sure that highly sensitive financial, transaction and customer data is only accessible to those who have express permission to see it, or risk data breaches that could have a devastating effect on customer trust and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.
And while retail banking surges ahead with data sharing initiatives such as Open Banking, other sectors of the financial services industry, including insurance, asset management and investment banking risk being left behind, with many enterprises stuck with legacy technology and convoluted, complex sign-in procedures which create confusion for the end user.
To delve deeper into these topics, FStech was joined by Ben King, Chief Security Officer for the EMEA regions at Okta, the digital identity and access management platform.
Spotlight on automation and analytics in the data centre
Financial sector firms are already struggling to keep up with the ever-changing performance demands of applications, and the current pressure on firms to improve time to market and scale rapidly is only adding to these concerns.
Automation and object storage can complement core banking applications, which can be difficult migrate to the cloud, and enable better monitoring, management, and optimisation of infrastructure.
Though banks are currently awash with unstructured data, only a small percentage of this data contains the insights needed to ensure compliance and storage performance. The metadata which object storage enables can allow IT teams to isolate performance bottlenecks and spot compliance issues wherever they may be located, in way traditional file or block storage can't do.
Automation can give banks the rapid provisioning on-premise that they have accustomed to in the cloud, while the introduction of AI enabled self-healing in data centre can help them scale the systems rapidly without issue.
To delve deeper into these topics, FStech was joined by, Tom Christensen, Chief Technology Officer for Northern EMEA at Hitachi Vantara.
Digital threat: can a strong cyber strategy boost competitiveness?
With the coronavirus crisis prompting a vast shift from in-branch operations to online, like most industries, financial services has needed to adapt.
Open Banking is also disrupting the market, with both banks and FinTechs looking to boost customer experience by harnessing data to offer improved services and a wider range of products.
Both the shift to online and the disruption of Open banking have created opportunities for the market to grow and adapt, but they’ve also generated a whole host of new privacy and security concerns. With the backdrop of the pandemic to boot, there’s never been a more challenging time for the market.
Traditional banks not only have to address changing consumer habits and a greater reliance on digital banking, but also face growing competition from alternative banks, including digital-only platforms.
Becoming digital: how are wealth management firms transforming while respecting tradition?
As the demand for digital services skyrocketed during the pandemic, financial services providers had to move faster than ever before to provide continuity for their customers across digital channels and platforms. And while retail banks make headway against the digital challengers, many sectors, notably wealth management, investment and asset management are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
As a result, digital advocates working in traditional wealth management firms are making the urgent business case for digital transformation to prepare for the future. However, many are experiencing pushback from senior leaders concerned that digital transformation goes against the grain of a rich heritage of highly personalised service and relationships extending back many generations, as well as highlighting the cost and security implications of moving customer data onto new technology at a time of disruption.
But as customers from millennials to more mature investors become more mobile, wealth management needs to evolve quickly to survive while retaining the tailored customer experiences and seamless service that set traditional financial services providers apart.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions to this digital dilemma, FStech was joined by George Baily, marketing lead for wealth at Crealogix.
Know Your Customer: Managing evolving risks throughout the customer lifestyle
There have been easier times for customer onboarding. The money laundering industry is currently estimated at being worth around two trillion worldwide, every year, and the challenges posed to FSIs by the introduction of the EU’s 6th AML directive, Brexit, and the pandemic are well established.
But these challenges are amplified by the fact many organisations are still unaware of where the data truly lies within their organisation. Many are weighed down by siloed legacy IT which holds data from different business areas in systems that are unable to “talk” to each other. And many organisations simply don’t have the right data needed to onboard customers risk-free in the first place.
Faced with these challenges, FSIs are tasked with minimizing the risk of cyber criminals and fraudsters – whose techniques are rapidly evolving – from infiltrating their systems without alienating customers with onerous and time consuming onboarding processes and sending them straight into the hands of competitors.
To combat this problem, some are exploring the potential of AI and analytics to provide a more complete view of customer data, which helps to strike the fine balance between giving customers what they need when they need it and minimizing risk for the FSI. At the same time, emerging technologies such as biometrics offer organisations new strategies to keep one step ahead of the criminals.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions to these dilemmas, FStech was joined by Adam McLaughlin, global head of financial crime strategy and marketing at Nice Actimize.
6AMLD is your data ready?
With just months to go until 6AMLD is set to be fully enforced in June, organisations are scrambling to adapt to an environment that assigns additional liability for breaches to senior managers and threatens heavier sanctions across the board, with organisations all too aware of the financial and reputational risk should the regulator come knocking.
But with the anti-money laundering risk landscape changing rapidly, as new threats emerge from digital payments and increased cyber security risk, organisations are being forced to re-evaluate their underlying technology infrastructures as well as improve employee awareness of their responsibilities with regards to 6AMLD.
These teams have only a few months to tackle the multitude of challenges surrounding data management, data visibility and data siloes, without compromising user experience in the process.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions, FStech was joined by William Brown, Head of Global Product Management at Bottomline Technologies to take a look at how organisations are implementing the digital transformation and transparency measures needed to be ready on time for the deadline.
Cracking down on digital communications risks in FS
The shift to remote working has triggered an explosion of digital communications challenges for financial services firms - and a corresponding surge in the data privacy risk. As employees send millions of emails and messages across digital collaboration platforms, financial institutions are in a race against time to protect their systems, employees and reputation from the devastating consequences of a data breach.
However, while much of the data privacy focus for FSIs centres around securing end points, the shift to cloud and boosting cyber security measures, research shows that over 90 per cent of data leaks are caused by human error - with emails sent to the wrong recipient one of the most common ways a company can expose itself to risk of GDPR non-compliance and cybercrime. And as the regulators step up scrutiny - and dish out eye watering fines for breaches- many FSIs are fighting an uphill battle to improve employee awareness of the potential costs of making a mistake.
To combat this challenge, many firms are turning to automated data privacy platforms, which use AI and machine learning to scan emails and digital communications for compliance before they are sent with real-time warnings, which can prevent sensitive information from ending up in the wrong hands.
To delve further into these challenges and possible solutions in digital communications risk, FStech was joined by Rick Goud, Chief Information Officer at secure communications provider Zivver.
How are financial services institutions managing risk in real-time?
The past year has brought unprecedented disruption for financial services providers and their customers.
For many, the pandemic-induced risk landscape has created new challenges for FSIs including balancing disruption detection, digesting information from all over the globe, and managing a co-ordinated response. From local COVID-19 lockdown mandates affecting physical branches to cyber criminals targeting financial services providers, there are devastating consequences for an organisation’s reputation and bottom line when crisis response is inadequate.
As a result, FSIs have been under pressure to ensure they have 24/7 visibility of emerging risks, so that they can respond swiftly to protect their customers and employees while ensuring operational resilience across their physical and digital presence around the world.
To tackle this challenge, forward looking FSIs are exploring the potential of real-time alerting platforms, which use AI to process billions of data units daily from thousands of public information sources such as social media, blogs, information sensors, and the deep web, to alert customers to emerging and sudden threats as they occur.
To delve further into these challenges for retailers and possible solutions FStech was joined by Helen Sutton, Senior Vice President of EMEA and APAC sales at Dataminr.
Safeguarding economies: DNFBPs' role in AML and CTF compliance explained
Join FStech editor Jonathan Easton, NICE Actimize's Adam McLaughlin and Graham Mackenzie of the Law Society of Scotland as they look at the role Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) play in the financial sector, and the challenges they face in complying with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations.
Ransomware and beyond: Enhancing cyber threat awareness in the financial sector
Join FStech editor Jonathan Easton and Proofpoint cybersecurity strategist Matt Cooke as they discuss the findings of the State of the Phish 2023 report, diving into key topics such as awareness of cyber threats, the sophisticated techniques being used by criminals to target the financial sector, and how financial institutions can take a proactive approach to educating both their employees and their customers.
Click here to read the 2023 State of the Phish report from Proofpoint.
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In this webinar a panel of expert speakers explored the ways in which high-volume PSPs and FinTechs are preventing fraud while providing a seamless customer experience.
Future of Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting, and Reporting
Sage Intacct is excited to present FSN The Modern Finance Forum’s “Future of Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting, and Reporting Global Survey 2022” results. With participation from 450 companies around the globe, the survey results highlight how organisations are developing their core financial processes by 2030.