Managed IT for Banking and Financial Industries
Few transactions at a modern bank are possible without an IT support structure. From the day-to-day customer experience to behind-the-scenes compliance, audits, and security, banks are approaching complete dependence on technology. And that technology infrastructure has become ever more advanced and more complex. When technology allows your bank to run more securely or more efficiently, it’s great.
But reliance on IT for a competitive edge has a downside: When the network is dark, the bank is idle.
Financial institutions are collaborating with managed IT services providers (MSPs) increasingly to ensure network uptime and expert oversight of expensive and complex but crucial IT systems.
Managed IT Benefits for Banking:
- Managed IT provides a faster and more agile customer experience with mobility
- A monitored network lessens the risk of data loss or data breaches
- IT Roadmapping allows scalability of operations, whether you need to add a new teller or a dozen newly-acquired branches
- The managed IT services model enhances reporting of metrics and employee efficiency
- Proactive IT planning will increase customer satisfaction and retention
- A bank-oriented MSP will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you during IT auditory and regulatory compliance
IT audits and regulations in the financial industry:
FDIC security standards require banks to meet perimeter and internal security standards, while advocating separation of security roles. PCI risks continue to develop, as well: Fines, liabilities, and suspensions are all increasing for institutions found non-compliant, as are GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) audits.
The American Bankers’ Association-published guide, An Avalanche of Regulation, illustrates banks’ regulatory challenges with charts, graphs, and statistics. The four-page brochure examines the unintended but unavoidable consequences of new regulations on small banks: staff hours spent on compliance-related tasks; discontinued lending services and consumer financial products; consolidation of community banks; and increased competition from less-regulated “shadow banking” businesses. Click the image for a free PDF download of the ABA guide.
What do FDIC’s IT audits address?
FDIC audits focus heavily on perimeter security and internal security of your bank’s IT systems. A managed IT services program that is built around the unique requirements of the financial industry will address auditory requirements in addition to proactive and reactive IT management.
Is two party authentication a requirement for financial institutions?
Currently, two party authentication is not mandated, although we expect it to be a requirement soon.
Do I need different security rules for laptops?
As a financial institution, you are required to protect information from leaving your network. Laptops can connect anywhere, so you need different rules when they are outside your network. These would include data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption.
What is mobile device management (MDM)?
Mobile device management is an evolving security issue. As a financial institution, MDM will give you an inventory of all mobile devices accessing the corporate network or data and allow you to push out security policies and settings over the air (OTA). Mobile device management will also ensure only devices compliant with their policies have access to corporate email and data, and will provide the ability to remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen device.
Does a managed security approach benefit financial organizations even though they get audited every year?
A managed security solution is a proactive approach to security. It allows you to maintain current logs of your security status. Those logs created over time will serve as pieces of the audit requirements, speeding up the audit process and avoiding loss of productivity. Managed security also increases the due diligence of protecting your network, reducing liability.
As a financial institution, what do I need to look for in an IT provider?
Financial institutions are held to strict standards. They should look for IT partners that have achieved SOC 2 certification and that offer a business associate agreement (BAA). Review the free whitepaper The Bottom Line on Managed IT Services for additional factors to consider when choosing an MSP for your bank.