Meeting the Financial Services Collaboration Challenge

The financial services industry faces unique collaboration challenges, especially in supporting the needs of the hybrid, in-office, and remote workforce. Key among these challenges are:

  • Meeting various global regulatory requirements governing reporting and securing financial transactions
  • Protection of personally identifiable information (PII) including social security numbers, account numbers, credit scores, and location that allows for identification of individuals
  • Protection of enterprise information assets from exfiltration attacks via phishing, social engineering, or other attempts at remote access

At the same time, financial services organizations are, like most other companies, increasing their use of enhanced collaboration applications including team messaging and video conferencing. These technologies improve back-office information sharing and workflows and enables digital transformation of customer experiences. The end result is (ideally) increased customer satisfaction scores, improved upsell and better customer retention opportunities. Taken together, digital transformation enables market differentiation through superior customer service.

Among financial services organizations participating in Metrigy’s Workplace Collaboration: 2021-22 global research study:

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  • 55% are increasing their spending on video conferencing systems in anticipation of needing to support ubiquitous access to high quality meeting experiences for those returning to the office
  • 55% are increasing the use of team collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams as an alternative to email for internal, and even B2C and B2B, collaboration
  • 54% are increasing spending on video meeting applications such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom; broadening access, procuring advanced AI-powered features such as transcription, or adding video to customer-facing platforms
  • 52% say that video conferencing is now a critical technology for business operations, and 91% say that all or most meetings use video

As financial services organizations expand use of collaboration applications, they are at the same time trying to do so with a workforce that is largely remote, leading to additional challenges in ensuring application security, governance and regulatory compliance both in office and at home. And, financial services organizations, like the broader market, are increasingly dealing with an environment consisting of multiple collaboration applications. For example, 47% of financial services organizations currently use more than one video meeting app platform.

Achieving collaboration success correlates with a proactive strategy that establishes governance needs, and then translates those needs into specific, measurable, and enforceable enterprise-wide policies, across all applications.

Having such a strategy correlates with success (in terms of achieving high ROI and/or productivity gains for collaboration investments).

Among financial services organizations, nearly 66% of companies with a proactive workplace collaboration security strategy achieved above average measurable success, versus less than 1% without such a strategy.

Unfortunately, just 44% of financial services companies currently have such a strategy.

Creating a successful, and proactive, workplace collaboration strategy requires careful analysis of aforementioned regulatory and operational security requirements. Key requirements of successful strategies include:

  • Perimeter defenses including firewalls and application gateways to enforce Zero Trust principals to control access to applications, users, and data
  • Implementation of company-wide data loss prevention controls that ensure consistent policy enforcement across any and all collaboration applications in use
  • Monitoring and enforcement (using multiple and flexible policies and workflows) of compliance requirements governing protection of data as well as other specific legal requirements depending on geography
  • Proactive threat identification and mitigation to protect against zero-day and phishing attacks

Meeting these requirements requires visibility into collaboration application performance, governance management, and policy enforcement, ideally through a single management platform that can support all deployed application and platforms.

It is clear from our data that creation and implementation of a proactive collaboration security plan is not a hinderance to effective collaboration, but rather a positive correlation in reducing costs, improving customer service and revenue opportunities, and increasing employee productivity.

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Sourced from: Metrigy Blog. View the original article here.