The intersection of financial services and cybersecurity took on a new depth in 2020, with the rapid digitization of products and services and the wholesale shift to remote working caused by the pandemic. We now know many of these changes are here to stay, and cybersecurity is increasingly central to being competitive in a digital marketplace.

Our subscribers craved insights from top c-level executives on how to manage this transition, as shown by the three most-read articles of the year.

#3: The Rising Tide of Cloud Computing
Mass Mutual Head of Enterprise Information Risk Jim Routh (who retired in December 2020) outlines the change in mindset required by cybersecurity teams and their leaders to master the wholesale shift to the cloud. In order to thrive, CISOs must understand the differences between cloud and the former on-premise model in terms of architecture, accountability model, and required organizational structure. To truly embrace the new paradigm, they must engage with how digital products are built and operations are run.

#2: DBS: On Becoming the Wizard of Digital Transformation
While many financial institutions were forced into rapid digitization in 2020, Singapore's DBS Bank embarked on the journey years ago. CISO Seng Wei Keng says his firm now thinks of itself more of a tech company than a bank to stay ahead in Asia's ultra-competitive and innovative financial services landscape. Strong cybersecurity controls on its digital platforms enable DBS to quickly expand across the region and into new markets while maintaining customer trust and regulatory confidence.

#1: Why Data Science is Foundational for an Advanced Cyber Program
The top slot was also captured by Jim Routh, who lays out how his team uses data science to transform security controls design. Model-driven security matches data models against data sources in real time using streaming technology, to segment both customers and internal users based on behavioral attributes. One implication to using this approach, which continuously monitors behavior and can deny access whenever necessary, is that it makes the standard username/password combination for access obsolete. It provides a better user experience than multifactor authentication (MFA), and it is also far cheaper for firms to manage. But it does require a paradigm shift that is only now starting to spread throughout the industry.

The Insight

As cybersecurity moves to the forefront of business considerations like never before, FS-ISAC Insights is on a mission to keep providing powerful insights like these, to help financial institutions navigate and adapt to continuous change. Stay tuned for more in 2021.

January 2021

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