Is customer focus exposing financial services to cybersecurity threats?

  • August 03, 2023

How to make sure attracting and retaining customers doesn’t distract you from security breaches

Customers need more transparency into their finances, but the last thing financial services institutions want to do is create backdoors that allow breaches to occur. How, then, do you satisfy customer needs without compromising their information and assets?

Financial institutions need to attract and retain customers and build loyalty. Focusing on bringing in and keeping customers, however, can detract from security — effectively causing you to take your eye off the ball. And shifting to digital financial records, mobile banking and a heavy reliance on cloud services introduces more ways for bad actors to get into places they don’t belong.

The cost of data breaches

Data breaches are a necessary topic when discussing customer service, because the data breached, in almost every case, is the information on your customers.

As a brief reminder, First American Financial Corp’s recent breach exposed approximately 885 million personal and financial records related to real estate transactions dating as far back as 2003. Canadian credit union Desjardins Group had 2.7 million of its members' information exposed, including addresses, names and social security numbers. A cyberattack on Westpac/PayID exposed the banking information of 98,000 customers.

Behind the scenes, financial services institutions are facing a mountain of ever-changing fiscal policy that can result in hefty fines if they are caught doing business as usual. Cybersecurity breaches in the financial services industry cost an average of $5.97 million — second only to healthcare.

The source of most data breaches continues to be compromised credentials, with malware to blame. The 2022 IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach Report shows that detecting the source of the data breach is the most costly aspect, surpassing the cost of lost business for the first time in 2022. Breach detection and lost business together cost almost $3 million.

60% of businesses surveyed said that they had to raise costs because of the breach. 83% of surveyed businesses with a recent data breach reported that it wasn't their organization’s first.

Breach detection, lost business and trust

Let’s assume, for the sake of a thought experiment, that breaches are inevitable — somehow, some way, some time, the strongest walls can be breached when keys get into the wrong hands.

There's a correlation between quickly identifying the source of a breach and reducing the amount of lost business as a result. In other words, the less you spend on breach identification, the less you lose in critical accounts dropping your business. How is that possible? A single word: Trust.

Regrettable attrition is when you lose clients who weren’t affected by a data breach. They leave because they lose trust in your institution’s ability to respond to threats. Even those accounts that move their business elsewhere are all but guaranteed to find that the grass isn't greener elsewhere.

Savvy financial services providers have learned that they can serve customer needs with better features, and have an IT foundation capable of rapid breach detection, all with just a single platform.

Goodbye, all-in-one platform. Hello, versatile hub.

Speaking of trust, the financial services industry has been burned too many times by the conundrum of “all-in-one” vs. “best-in-class.” No platform can truly be everything to every business; and no business can keep up with all the data sources that multiply inside of a business year after year.

NTT DATA is the provider of multiple best-in-class services, and we can provide a platform to synchronize services across the entire financial services organization. But there will always be other sources of data that aren't under the NTT DATA umbrella. Our partners in financial services told us that they needed a more democratic and egalitarian way to access, distribute and automate their data, no matter what source it came from. Additionally, they needed to access it and even work inside of it without the help of an IT professional or developer.

To help financial services increase their customers’ trust in their ability to meet all their needs, from data access to data defense, NTT DATA invested in the resources to become an Elite Partner of ServiceNow.

ServiceNow is a central hub that offers a pathway to create a unified system of action across the enterprise to achieve these goals. The approach connects the front, middle and back-office with one platform. That capability allows financial services organizations to provide a better customer service experience on the front end, while quickly and accurately spotting security breaches on the back end, all in one place.

More secure and more customer-centric

The top four ways to keep your book of business, and add key players in 2023 and beyond, are as follows:

1. Improve customer experiences
Financial Services organizations understand the journey customers take to get to them. But each customer is walking that path for the first time. Financial services organizations win when they can digitize the customer service journey, meeting their customers where they are, whenever they need them.

Organizations must empower agents and advisors to make the right decisions and act faster by digitizing the customer service journey. More than an automated assistant, the digitized customer service journey provides answers before questions become problems.

By connecting this journey to a versatile hub like ServiceNow, organizations can provide a higher level of service all while making their products and services more secure.

2. Boost employee satisfaction
Organization don’t run without dependable employees. When employees feel like their own systems are hindering their ability to be successful, morale drops. But with a unified, versatile platform, teams are treated to great experiences. The work will always be work … but it doesn’t have to be frustrating, even if it is difficult.

3. Enhance risk protection
Cyberattacks against financial services have increased by more than 70% since 2017. They’re happening all the time. If financial services organizations aren’t on top of security systems and protocols, then security breaches are only a matter of time.

Implement the agile security responses needed to keep breaches in check. The faster a breach is identified, the faster organizations can shut it down and minimize the impact. The more organizations can alter and improve security systems, the less likely a hacker is to get inside. Work from a smarter hub, and stay ahead of the game.

4. Cut costs while speeding innovation
Updates and upgrades are coming faster than ever. Connecting business automation to a versatile hub helps organizations keep up with new entrants and disruptive business models. Use AI and automation to speed ideas to value. Cut costs by unifying systems on a single cloud platform.

Can you wait to improve? The time to act is now.

If employees and IT staff spend their careers trying to solve these problems, then leaders owe it to them to see how they can be more successful — and more critical to their organization. Give ServiceNow with NTT DATA a try.

Download the fact sheet to learn how you can boost customer satisfaction and security with ServiceNow.

Contact us to discuss how NTT DATA with ServiceNow can make you safer and more customer-centered.

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Grant Pulver

Grant Pulver boasts 20+ years of experience in technology, consulting, and management. He leads a team walking hand in hand with Client Leadership teams to ensure their business outcomes are imbued into their technology and platform strategies. Grant previously served as Program Manager at Fruition Partners and Vice President of End User Technology at AIG, Inc.


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