Data Security in 2023: Prepare Now

by Prashanth Samudrala

As we approach the end of 2022, there is no better time for financial companies to audit their current data security strategy and prepare for continued threats in the new year.

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The financial industry is one of the main targets for cybercriminals. The amount of sensitive information—personal data, financial data, and more—makes accessing the internal servers of banks and other financial institutions extremely profitable. 

A streamlined DevOps pipeline is an essential aspect of keeping your system up-to-date and protected against unwanted intruders. But how can you be sure the updates and applications produced are secure? 

Strategic, automated DevOps tools are an essential aspect of a complete data security strategy. The heightened sensitivity associated with financial information necessitates the most impenetrable levels of protection. 

Here are six data security considerations financial companies need for 2023: 

  1. Ensure Proper Permissions 
  2. Find and Eliminate Bugs 
  3. Reduce Manual Processes 
  4. Maintain Recent Data Backups 
  5. Explore Hosting Options 
  6. Communicate Best Practices 
  1. Ensure Proper Permissions

Improper permission sets increase the chance of accidental deletions or, even worse, data theft. Profiles and permission sets enable a company to dictate who can access what parts of the system. So, if an employee doesn’t need access to certain types of data to perform their duties, they shouldn’t be able to obtain them. 

Incorporating an automated policy scanner helps financial companies ensure there are no outlying roles with unnecessary access. 

These settings can be used to dictate which team members have the ability to read, edit, or delete data. Not every role needs permission for all these capabilities. Maintaining consistent oversight of these settings greatly reduces the possibility that vital information is mishandled, accidently deleted, or inadvertently exposed. 

  1. Find and Eliminate Bugs

Bugs in live applications and updates affect a lot more than functionality. They can actually create backdoors for cybercriminals and lead to catastrophic data breaches. Of course, developers at financial companies aren’t simply ignoring errors—they don’t know they exist. Ample testing is needed to ensure the stability of a new DevOps project, but mistakes can still sneak through when these tests are performed manually. 

Static code analysis is an essential DevOps tool that reduces—and potentially eliminates—bugs and errors that create data security vulnerabilities. 

Not only are these errors much cheaper to fix when they’re found early, but they also negate the vulnerability before it’s exploited by bad actors. Manual reviews are tedious and unreliable. Automated tools are essential to speeding this process along without sacrificing accuracy. 

  1. Reduce Manual Processes

People make mistakes. This is unavoidable. Even the best team members are going to occasionally make an error that has the potential to blossom into a data security vulnerability. This possibility becomes a certainty when you ask a team member to perform an incredibly repetitive task like code reviews. 

Automating repetitive tasks with automated release management tools like a data loader or sandbox management eliminates inevitable user errors. 

The benefits of automation for financial institutions go beyond improving data security. Expediting the DevOps pipeline allows companies to increase their release velocity. This makes them more agile and prepared to address challenges. You never know exactly what’s coming, so having the ability to release new updates quickly is crucial. 

  1. Maintain Recent Data Backups

Financial companies are subject to numerous government regulations dictating how sensitive information must be handled. Losing access to customer and system information will lead to steep fines and penalties—as well as loss of customer trust. 

Frequent data backups—and the ability to rapidly recover this information—should be a nonnegotiable aspect of your data security strategy for 2023. 

Financial companies are responsible for safely handling the sensitive information of their customers and employees. Outages can’t be completely guarded against; they will happen. A complete data backup and reliable recovery system are essential to guaranteeing continuous connectivity.

  1. Explore Hosting Options

The infrastructure that makes up your platform needs to be tailored to your specific needs. Many financial companies operate over vast geographic locations. Others can contain their technological systems within a singular location. 

Secure cloud hosting—or even better, hosting your platform on-premises—can offer the rigorous levels of control financial companies need to properly protect their environments. 

Protecting access points is an essential tactic for securing your platform. Hosting on-premises reduces your contact points with the internet, making it much harder for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. 

  1. Communicate Best Practices

We’ve mentioned how accidental deletions can be costly and create data security vulnerabilities. The way our team members interact with our system can either protect the system or endanger it. Proper training and communication align efforts and actions, so everyone works together to maintain settings that safeguard access points and avoid compromising other potential points of entry. 

Creating strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and adhering to other good habits all protect your system in ways automated tools can’t. 

2022 saw an increase in threats to data security. Financial companies need to be intentional about their security tactics and employ powerful DevOps tools to properly protect their systems and sensitive data.

There’s no better time to put together your data security strategy for 2023 than right now. You’ll thank yourself later. 

Prashanth Samudrala is VP of Products, AutoRABIT