How Financial Services Organizations Can Stay Compliant – Without Sacrificing Security

By Eric Carter - JANUARY 16, 2024

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Financial Services and compliance

The stakes couldn’t be higher for financial services organizations. They have to protect customers’ money and privacy, while complying with technical requirements and governmental regulations. Complying with all those requirements poses a major, ongoing challenge for security teams, which are already under pressure to do more with less.

Cybercrime continues to grow, with every industry falling victim, at one time or another. Not surprisingly, though financial organizations have presented an appealing target. Ransomware attacks alone affected 74% of global financial institutions in 2021–2022 and the average cost of a data breach in the sector hit $5.72 million.

Financial details are highly prized and offer even inexperienced hackers an opportunity to make a quick buck: credit card numbers, for instance, can be easily sold for $30 each.

Increasingly, attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in cloud security architectures to grab such valuable information, with Sysdig’s latest research finding that 65% of cloud attacks now target financial services companies and telcos. An insecure configuration lurking deep within a cloud stack can wreak havoc, allowing hackers to exploit the vulnerability.

At the same time, financial services organizations must stay compliant with constantly changing cybersecurity standards and governmental regulations. As cloud migration in the sector grows, security leaders face a balancing act. How do you deal with complex cloud security and compliance challenges, without slowing down the development of products that deliver growth? 

Staying compliant with evolving regulations

Managing compliance is becoming increasingly difficult for financial services organizations. They must keep track of more standards and regulations than ever, some of which are optional, some compulsory, some that vary by region, and many that overlap. There are technical standards, like those from NIST and ISO, data security standards like PCI-DSS, as well as governmental regulations, like GDPR, SOC, and GLBA…it’s a virtual alphabet soup of rules and regulations.

To meet these standards and regulations, financial services organizations need to have the proper controls, testing, and reporting abilities in place. If they don’t, they face loss of reputation and hefty fines; global financial service regulators imposed more than $7 billion in fines in 2022.  Ouch.

And of course, financial services organizations must still consider security requirements. As one of the most regulated industries in the world, banks must adopt security built for cloud-native environments to guard against evolving threats and reduce risk. The ability to prioritize vulnerabilities, detect threats in real-time, identify misconfigurations, audit activity, and measure compliance with regulations is critical for banks to realize the full benefits of the cloud.

Meeting the compliance challenge

To fully take advantage of the agility and speed the cloud offers, financial services organizations need a robust cloud-centric security architecture and tooling to improve visibility and control. To balance uptime with fast time-to-market, developers need tools and security platforms that work together –built on open standards so that they can be customized to compliance. Reducing the burden of alert fatigue helps developers spend less time fixing vulnerabilities, and more time developing secure products.

A series of point solutions that need to be painstakingly integrated can’t handle the compliance and security requirements of such a heavily regulated industry. They provide too many opportunities for vital alerts to be missed and too many possible opportunities for breaches.

The answer is a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP). A CNAPP can give you dramatically better visibility and control over your whole cloud-native application stack. A CNAPP provides a feedback loop that enables true end-to-end coverage of the cloud-native application lifecycle.

With a CNAPP, you get comprehensive coverage for security and compliance purposes. A CNAPP solution reveals interrelationships between the insights of various security points-of-view and across use cases to promote collaboration between DevSecOps, DevOps, and cloud security operations teams. It can be the equalizer when it comes to providing real-time knowledge of your cloud environment and incorporating common workflows, data correlations, meaningful insights, and remediation.

By adopting implementing a CNAPP, you can achieve a higher level of security across all major aspects of your cloud infrastructure and cloud-native application stack. And by embedding CNAPP security from the earliest stages of the development process all the way into production, you can ensure that what is delivered will maintain the highest levels of security and compliance integrity.

How Sysdig can help

Sysdig helps financial services organizations secure and accelerate Innovation in the cloud. Sysdig delivers cloud and container security that provides financial services organizations with a single view of risk, so they can prioritize risk and remediate issues at their source, ensuring both compliance and security. With Sysdig, banks can leverage cloud services to stay competitive without risking exposure to cyber threats.

Sysdig delivers cloud and container security, so financial services organizations moving to the cloud, or already operating in the cloud, can effectively manage their security posture and stop attacks with no wasted time.

  • Cloud detection and response: Thanks to multilayered threat detection, that combines Falco-based policies and Machine Learning (ML) detections, financial services organizations can respond to threats targeting workloads, cloud services, and identities more easily and confidently. 
  • Compliance and posture management: With Sysdig, financial services organizations get built-in compliance tools to assess their security posture. Teams can easily identify and fix misconfigurations and ensure they follow best practices.
  • Vulnerability management: Financial services firms get everything they need to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities, based on in-use risk exposure. By addressing real risk, they can accelerate the time to achieve security and compliance.
  • Entitlement management: Sysdig helps financial services organizations gain visibility into cloud identities and manage permissions to eliminate excess permissions and enforce least privilege. 

The cloud has fundamentally changed the anatomy and nature of modern applications, IT infrastructures, and related processes. Financial services organizations are successfully taking advantage of the cloud to achieve new levels of agility. Key to this success is ensuring that firms can meet compliance and security requirements to deliver innovation while minimizing risk. The Sysdig platform helps banks investing in cloud and cloud-native applications provide the protections needed to ensure compliance, and prevent, detect, and stop cloud threats.

Ready to take the next step for your organisation’s compliance? Learn how Sysdig can help you.

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