New Survey Reveals Critical Data Security Gap In the Financial Services Industry

A recent study from Lookout, Inc., has released new findings that showcase the rise of data breaches in the financial services industry. The report found that 70% of IT leaders surveyed via the Gartner Peer Community reported a significant increase in data breaches compared to previous years. As the new working landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, financial institutions are required to adapt swiftly in order to protect their valuable data.

As the attack surface continues to evolve, organisations are finding it difficult to protect their data effectively, which is why the following key themes demand immediate attention.

Threat detection and data control struggles: Nearly half of organizations (47%) struggle with the heightened difficulty of detecting and mitigating threats, while about one-fifth (18%) face a significant lack of control over their applications and data.
Navigating complex security tool landscape: Organizations struggle to navigate the intricate landscape of multiple security tools and vendors, with 55% facing challenges in achieving effective data protection.
Skill shortages in data protection: The scarcity of skilled security professionals presents a significant obstacle, affecting 41% of organizations and prompting a need for organizations to invest in talent development, training programs, and strategic partnerships to build a competent workforce capable of safeguarding valuable data assets effectively.
Strengthening access controls: More than half (52%) of organizations grapple with the level of detail allotted by their access controls, and would benefit if it were more in-depth.
Hybrid infrastructure and complex IT stacks hinder security: 82% of organizations have a hybrid infrastructure, combining cloud and on-premises data storage. More than half of the organizations face challenges with various security products that do not work well together.

“In an era of rapid digital transformation, the scattered nature of data across various cloud applications and the routine use of unmanaged networks and devices by employees have given rise to the widespread adoption of Shadow IT and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices,” explains Aaron Cockerill, Chief Strategy Officer at Lookout. “To effectively address this challenge, organizations need to acknowledge and confront the overconfidence bias that has traditionally driven a strict focus on data control. While the historical approach aimed to keep data within corporate boundaries and limit access to managed devices, the reality of today’s landscape requires a shift in strategy. Financial institutions must swiftly adapt and adjust their approaches to safeguard valuable data without compromising the productivity gains offered by the cloud-driven environment.”

The report, which collected data from 365 IT and security leaders across the EMEA, APAC, and North America regions between August 2022 and January 2023, highlights the significant challenges posed by hybrid infrastructures, disparate security tools, and the spread of data across multiple cloud applications.

The full report can be accessed on the Lookout site.

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