TechTalk Detroit Ep. 9: COVID-19 & The Effects on the Finance Industry
On the ninth episode of TechTalk Detroit, hosts Chuck Lobert & Brian Spurgeon discuss the implications of COVID-19 and remote work for firms in the financial industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the global community in a range of ways, from the economic toll to the fundamental changes to how businesses are operating in new remote workspaces. From retail to essential services, every industry is being affected in different ways. Case in point: the financial sector.
Those operating in the financial services industry may be able to adapt to remote work better than other types of businesses, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t still have challenges to overcome. It’s these challenges that Vision Computers Solutions’ Chuck Lobert & Brian Spurgeon chose to talk about on episode nine of TechTalk Detroit – listen to the full episode below:
“Finance is one of those industries that are similar to ours, in which you’re able to transition to a remote workforce, but unfortunately, that also increases your cybersecurity concerns,” says Chuck. “It’s a great advantage, but you have to put some extra detail into how you’re addressing your security.”
Can Financial Firms Stay Secure and Compliant While Working Remotely?
Cybersecurity and compliance are the main concerns for financial firms that want to pivot to a remote work model. While your firm may have been secure and compliant in the office, that’s not a given when you have everyone working from home.
That’s why you need to be methodical and do your due diligence, double-checking the security standards in place at your employees’ home networks. When it comes to a risk of non-compliance, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Companies should take the time now to circle back and make sure they are compliant,” says Chuck. “You almost have to re-audit yourself to make sure you’re still meeting those requirements.”
How to Maintain Cybersecurity in a Remote Setting
“There are some new exploits out there using COVID-19 for phishing people and getting data and delivering viruses and such,” says Chuck. “It’s a shame, but you knew it would eventually happen.”
Make sure you have the following solutions and best practices in place:
- Use A VPN: When you use a virtual private network (VPN), your data is encrypted, or hidden, as it moves from your device to the VPN and then continues onto the Internet. That makes it harder for an attacker to identify you as the source of the data – no matter whether you’re on your mobile device’s data connection, or using a home network.
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins. By requiring a second piece of information like a randomly-generated numerical code sent by text message, you’re able to make sure that the person using the login credentials is actually who they say they are.
- Verify Payments Via Phone: As you can’t meet in person to verify major financial transactions, the least you can do is confirm over the phone with the contact. Never execute a financial transfer based on an email request alone – it could very well be a cybercriminal posing as a business contact or third party organization.
- Stay Up To Date: Did you know that one of the most common ways that cybercriminals get into a network is through loopholes in popular software? Much of the software you rely on to get work done every day could have flaws — or “exploits” — that leave you vulnerable to security breaches. To address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect users. This is why you must keep your applications and systems up to date.
- Train Your Employees: Now more than ever, your employees need to know how to spot social engineering scams that are all about the element of surprise. Case in point: phishing, a method in which cybercriminals send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers.
Don’t sacrifice your cybersecurity just so your staff can work from home. With the right technologies and processes in place, you can maintain a productive and secure remote work model.
If you’re worried about your work-from-home technologies or cybersecurity, then don’t try to handle it all on your own. The Vision Computer Solutions team will help you evaluate your remote capabilities as a whole to make sure you’re not missing out on useful solutions or taking on any unnecessary risks.
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