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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Financial institutions struggling to protect customer data

Struggles with basic information management in the financial services sector are putting customer data at risk, according to research by M-Files released today.

Financial services sector losing data ©iStock

It suggests that firms in the industry are regularly losing documentation, showing that 96% have struggled to locate documents in the workplace, and that 62% have had to recreate files because they were unable to find originals.

This comes amid a backdrop of increasing cyber risk, while businesses will be under additional pressure to protect sensitive information when General Data Protection Regulation comes into force next year.

“Financial institutions must become better at managing their information assets, as they face ever increasing security threats from both inside and outside of the organisation,” M-Files UK Business vice president, Julian Cook, said.

“Those in the finance industry have a responsibility to their customers to ensure that the information they manage on their behalf is protected in a highly secure way, but the evidence suggests that many are struggling to do so.”

Despite increased vulnerability to cyber crime, the research shows that 46% of financial services firms state that employees use file-sharing apps, while 27% report that staff use their personal devices to access corporate information.

It also reveals that 27% of financial organisations experienced a mobile device-related information security breach last year, while 31% simply do not know whether or not one occurred.

This comes after a global survey by Capgemini Consulting earlier this year, found that less than a third of banks and insurers offer both strong data privacy practices, and a sound security strategy.

In addition, just 21% of these organisations are highly confident that they can detect a cyber security breach, while a quarter have reported being a victim of a hack.

“There is a fine balance to be had between ensuring that documents are adequately secure but also ensuring that users have quick and easy access to the information they need to do their jobs,” Cook continued.

“It’s clear from our research that few in the financial services sector have yet found that balance, but enterprise content management systems can help them achieve this.

“These solutions can enable information to be managed and secured intuitively, reducing the risk of information becoming lost or misplaced and ensuring that compliance requirements are met.”

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