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Cybersecurity in financial services: Keeping data safe in the cloud has never been more urgent

With more financial organisations investing in cloud-based customer service solutions, protecting customer data has become a vital component of security and a key concern for the C-suite in 2023 as many financial services leaders ramp up their investment in customer service.

By Subarna Ganguly, Staff Writer

Last updated February 23, 2024

In recent years, leaders from across the financial services sector have been drawn to the cloud as part of their digital transformation strategy. Established financial institutions and middle market banks are moving away from legacy systems in favour of cloud-based solutions. Meanwhile, many newer FIs, banks and FinTechs have launched using a fully cloud-based approach.

They are feeling the benefits too. Accenture finds that banks are reporting savings of around 20 per cent as a result of running their data workloads in the cloud. Meanwhile, Zendesk’s CX Trends 2023 report reveals that 86 per cent of financial services leaders have seen a positive return on investment (ROI) on their customer experience (CX) in the last 12 months. Even though this transition is making providers heavily reliant on cloud infrastructure offered by a small number of Big Tech firms, the impact on the quality and scalability of their products and services are proving to be worth it.

Yet there are challenges too, not least when it comes to cybersecurity. Customer service data, such as support tickets, call recordings, and chat logs, include sensitive personal and financial information. This means cybercriminals are also closely following the migration, viewing it as an opportunity to identify and expose new vulnerabilities. When financial services providers are choosing a cloud-based customer service system, it’s therefore vital that they ensure their tech partners are implementing high-level security measures.

The current state of cybersecurity in banking

Positively, the C-suite are taking note of this risk. From data breaches to ransomware attacks, PwC finds that cybercrime is the top concern for two-thirds of executives in 2023. As the tactics used by malicious actors become more sophisticated, financial services providers must continuously–and urgently–evolve the steps they take to secure their data online and in the cloud.

To do so, many are deploying robust security protocols across their operations, and leveraging secure, cloud-based technology. However, some believe that cloud technology isn’t mature enough and therefore requires additional security efforts on the part of professionals. Because of this, security leaders may require assurances that a cloud solution is the best choice for their specific use case. Likewise, as mobile devices also remain a key area of focus for criminals, this too can impact a financial services provider’s security strategy.

Securing client data is crucial to CX

With more financial organisations investing in cloud-based customer service solutions, protecting customer data has become a vital component of security and a key concern for the C-suite. These considerations are particularly relevant in 2023 as many financial services leaders are ramping up their investment in customer service. Zendesk’s CX Trends 2023 report finds that 90 per cent of financial services decision-makers will increase their CX budget over the coming 12 months.

The report also shows that 73 per cent of financial sector leaders plan to merge at least some customer experience responsibilities or teams in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 82 per cent believe that service data is important and should be leveraged more throughout their organisation. By promoting a freer flow of information within the organisation, financial services providers can ensure their teams are able to access customer data quickly and easily. They can then use these insights to optimise their experiences no matter how, when and where they interact with them.

However, only 28 per cent of financial sector leaders currently say their organisation is “excellent” at sharing customer data across the business, highlighting the need for improvement. It also once again emphasises the importance of robust measures to prevent data becoming exposed or falling into the wrong hands–not just to protect the information itself but also because it demonstrates to customers that the safety of their personal data is being taken seriously, helping build trust and loyalty.

How Zendesk keeps customer data secure

At Zendesk, we provide financial services organisations with secure, cloud-based solutions, empowering them with seamless customer support. Our cloud-based system keeps all customer service data in one place, so agents can help customers quickly and efficiently deliver personalised, data-led support. We provide the highest levels of security and regulatory compliance, which is why companies of all sizes trust us with their customer service technology.

To ensure our customers’ client data is secure and to prevent unauthorised access, we employ a combination of security features and run regular, comprehensive audits of our applications, systems and networks. We offer a wide range of security measures, including encryption, and access control to protect against cyber threats and also follow strict compliance standards, such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS, to ensure data privacy and integrity. These, in turn, help our customers meet their own compliance standards.

And finally, we have a formal global privacy and data protection programme. As privacy advocates, we work diligently to ensure our services and team members are dedicated to complying with applicable regulatory and industry frameworks.

Download our report to find out more about CX trends in the financial sector.

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