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Communication methods have changed significantly over the past decade. Oh, it’s better to be said, over the last two or three years! It is not only about the methods of communication of “person-to-person,” but the principles of the B2C and B2B segments communicating have also changed as well.
Back in 2016, a Fujitsu study sent an important signal to the financial market: if banks fail to improve the systems of communication with the clients and between the employees, they will inevitably lose an essential share of their customers. About a third of respondents were ready to change the bank and go switch to the competitors if those are more technologically advanced. Thus, the race for technology and communication standards has gained new momentum.
However, the speed of changes and the adoption of new standards are not always appropriately regulated, and that’s why these processes may not always be positive only. The methods of work in the financial sector have changed: more people started working from home or remotely. At the same time, free messengers like WhatsApp, are introduced in operating processes. They allow remote employees to communicate with their colleagues around the world. Is it definite progress? Well, not really.
Speed VS Security: a consensus is needed
A recent survey conducted by StarLeaf and Vanson Bourne showed that 78% of IT decision makers in the financial services reported serious security problems while the free messaging applications were used. The survey also reflected a trend of transition from email to instant messaging: 52% of respondents reported an increase in the use of instant messengers, with 61% of respondents claiming it to be the most effective way of communication with the remote employees.
Of course, instant messaging is a fast method of communication leading to quicker decisions. These factors are essential in the financial sector to get ahead of competitors and make a profit. But in the pursuit of faster performance, corporations and their employees create security holes themselves.
Corporations are already expressing concerns about the security of free apps. 85% of respondents in the StarLeaf survey said they would like the security of the messengers to be improved. These concerns reflect a general vigilance about the security of databases. The use of publicly available messengers makes financial institutions vulnerable to database hacks and provides an entry point for attackers who are looking for business processes disruption as well as customer data theft. Data leak can take place even due to such simple things as sending a message to the wrong person. Financial institutions are sounding the alarm and prioritize data security on their agenda. Against the background of constant data leaks in the industry, this is proper due diligence, not panicking.
Commenting on the findings William MacDONALD, Chief Technology Officer at StarLeaf, says:
“Data security and protection has never been more crucial within the financial industry. With consistent news coverage of cyber-attacks, it is vital for finance firms to remain compliant under the terms of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We have already seen high-profile cases this year where high street banks have been hacked and lost sensitive information.”
The leakage of personal data results in reputational losses, and may as well hit the enterprise financially. For example, GDPR in Europe has tightened the rules in the information field. It protects the rights of individuals and controls corporations, imposing greater financial responsibility on them.
Corporate Security requires corporate solutions
Digital security experts recommend financial organizations to partner with application providers that develop highly secure instant messaging solutions, as well as manage the technology architecture and data centers by themselves. Cloud solutions already allow corporate users to connect, communicate and conduct activities as efficiently as possible while maintaining security at all levels. This will enable organizations to choose the jurisdiction of their data so that they know that it remains within their control and cannot be accessed by third parties.
Instant messaging is a logical development of a culture of communication, but financial institutions must take steps to minimize risks and protect data. Secure messenger applications which are developed and customized for the needs of a particular enterprise will allow employees to communicate and transmit information efficiently and securely. The main thing in this regard is to maintain the trust of the customers.
Image courtesy of Finjan Mobile
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