Now more than ever, customers expect their financial information to be kept private and 3D secure. Banks and other financial institutions face the complex challenge of having to simultaneously build trust by vigilantly protecting sensitive customer data, while also having to innovate rapidly to meet changing consumer needs and preferences. According to the experts at Outseer, recent high-profile cyberattacks and data breaches have underscored the crucial importance of maintaining robust security and ensuring transparency around how personal customer information is used, shared, and above all, protected.

The Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape

Financial companies collect and store massive amounts of highly sensitive personal and financial data from their customers. From social security numbers, account balances, to credit card numbers and transaction histories, this aggregated customer data can be a goldmine for cybercriminals and malicious hackers. As banks continue expanding their digital footprints with an omnichannel presence, customer data is being accessed, stored, and transmitted across an ever-widening attack surface. The threat landscape has also evolved rapidly, with hackers deploying increasingly sophisticated tools and methods like social engineering and ransomware. Defending against cyberattacks has become exponentially more complex, especially as banks adopt newer technologies like cloud computing, open banking APIs, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Robust, Layered Security

Banks already invest substantially in multiple layers of cybersecurity defense. Equally important is protecting networks against insider threats. Regular cybersecurity training and evaluations help keep staff across the organization up-to-date and vigilant.

Maintaining Customers’ Trust and Confidence

Despite sizable investments and defenses, data breaches can still occur because of sophisticated attacks. Maintaining customers’ trust and confidence requires complete transparency with customers when incidents happen. Prompt and clear communication of the facts, coupled with accountability for any lapses, is vital. Explaining technically to customers the extent of the breach, likely impact, and concrete mitigation and prevention measures being implemented post-incident shows the bank puts client interests first.

Cultivating an Internal Culture of Security

As the cyberattack threat climate grows more ominous, financial institutions must redouble efforts to make cybersecurity an organizational priority. Recruiting and retaining skilled cybersecurity professionals has become mission critical. Providing regular training and developing talent internally creates a rich pipeline of expertise.

Establishing enterprise-wide governance that deeply embeds security across departments cultivates shared vigilance in identifying and responding to threats. Security by design principles should be applied when developing products so that safeguards are incorporated from the initial stages. Promoting a culture of collective security with employee participation in simulations and preparedness exercises facilitates continuous improvement.

Responsible Innovation

While banks seek to provide innovative digital experiences and services, innovation should not undermine privacy and security. Any new customer-impacting technology must first undergo rigorous cybersecurity and data privacy assessments to fully evaluate and mitigate potential risks upfront before deployment.

For instance, while open banking APIs allow finer customer customization and services, the connections pose risks if not adequately secured. New data mining tools enabled by machine learning promise more insights about customers but could overstep bounds if not governed properly.

Thus, responsible innovation requires extensive testing, oversight, and governance throughout implementation before customers ever use new tools. Banks also need to be completely transparent with clients on how any collected data is used or monetized, with clear privacy notices written in simple language.


Financial companies operate in an environment marked by the continuous evolution of new cyber risks and threat vectors. Ultimately, banks must ensure customer interests and trust drive every business and technical decision. Investing in skilled cybersecurity professionals, continuously upgrading security systems and protocols, maintaining transparent communication with clients, and allowing customer preferences to guide appropriate data usage means banks show an unwavering long-term commitment to protecting what matters most – their customers.