The most effective security program is proactive and constantly evolving to stay ahead of threats. In today’s dynamic financial services industry landscape, retail banks understand that this is easier said than done. The security challenge is more complex than ever because of two significant forces of change in the retail banking industry.

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More threats, more at stake

The first one of these forces is obvious. The simple fact is that security threats are more complicated than ever. They come from all sides and in all forms—from fraud and identity theft to cyber-attacks. These threats jeopardize the integrity of the enterprise, potentially disrupting operations and putting banking reputations and consumer confidence at risk. This comes at a time when customer relationships are more important than ever for competitive differentiation.

Defending the digital business

The other force of change is less top-of-mind for many banks—but essential to explore. In essence, banks are more vulnerable to countless security threats because they are advancing the business model for the digital age.

Many banks are exploring the possibilities of digital transformation. They are evolving to become Everyday Banks that play a central role in customers’ lives—as advice providers, access facilitators and value aggregators.

This revolutionary model requires working with customers and third parties in wholly new ways across a dynamic digital ecosystem. It introduces security issues that banks have never addressed before. What’s more, as the convener of this digital ecosystem, banks must prepare to act as de facto brokers of digital security services.

“The Everyday Bank demands an intelligent, agile and orchestrated security architecture aligned with business goals, customer strategies and fuelled by specialized talent.”

Important but often forgotten

As banks move into this new future, security must be a central focus. Defending against cyber-attacks, remediating vulnerabilities and responding to threats, and managing multiple digital identities across platforms are essential to any security program.

There are several equally important elements that are not discussed as often—but should be:

  1. The missing link between business and security. Retail banks must close the gap between the business and security protocols. This is about tying security initiatives to overall business goals and driving alignment between business and security executives.
  1. The fight for the right talent. Do banks today have the talent they need to win the security battle? The combination of a need for highly specialized skills and a limited talent pool can make it difficult for banks to get the right people on the front lines.

All of this must be part of larger shift—a movement from a compliance-centered security mindset to a proactive stance. Look for more on this move to intelligent security in a future blog post. In the meantime, take a moment to explore a new Accenture point of view on the topic called Intelligent Security: Defending the Digital Business.

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