Trust is the Focus of Banking Professionals

With Resources Tight, Institutions Invest in Customer Confidence Clearly all businesses are really under pressure given the current slow economic environment. However, the greatest impact on a financial institution no matter what is always its customer. "At the heart of a bank lies the customer and customer trust is paramount for financial institutions," says Doug Johnson from the American Bankers Association. In financial services, consumer trust is critical -- where customers need to feel confident that their transactions and data are handled safely and securely. This is often overlooked and to a great extent remains an unmanaged asset. Therefore, a majority of bankers today are focusing on information security and treating this very seriously within their institutions," Johnson says.

Given the current adverse economic condition and everyday headline news on security breaches, financial institutions cannot afford to make mistakes that may result in losing customers and taking their trust for granted. Now is the time when banks have to step up their services, build and solidify their customers trust.

In the current economic situation, banking institutions are maximizing their available resources and attempting to do more with less. Today, the information security officer's role is that of a business partner within an institution, working endlessly to provide valuable security services to the institution as well as to its various business components, ensuring that information security is embedded in the over all business process. Today, significance is given to security issues, and the benefits of investment are clearly seen in opportunities of building trust, strengthening customer relationships, managing risk and implementing effective programs to mitigate fraud and other activities.

"Within financial institutions security is not an imperative issue rather a collaborative one," says Johnson. Financial associations and relevant collaborative councils like the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center ( FS-ISAC) are working with banks and other financial institutions, trying to lessen their overheads and costs by:

  • Promoting endorsed products and services to financial institutions, including recommended vendor or service providers;
  • Enhancing quality of third party service providers through higher level of examination and scrutiny;
  • Playing an active role in educating and providing relevant advice, training and consulting on pressing security and banking relates issues like ID Theft, Mitigating Fraud, Cyber Threats, Vulnerabilities, Risk Management, Sound Security programs and more;
  • Promoting learning from shared experiences thereby leveraging information to all involved within the industry, i.e. actively informing their concerned members with security alerts, severity of current security issues, and possible recommendations for solutions.

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