Financial Institutions Case Studies

Financial Institutions and Data Security: Case Studies

Data breaches have become commonplace for companies worldwide and while they are damaging regardless of which industry they touch, data breaches are especially detrimental to financial institutions. In order for financial institutions to protect their customers, the IT community must first overcome its own pitfalls in protecting clients’ financial data. The following case studies provide valuable information that speaks to existing security gaps and ways to proactively defend against cyber attacks.

Morgan Stanley Cybersecurity Case Study - Financial Institutions

Case Study 1: Morgan Stanley

This case highlighted the importance of privileged account monitoring. Insider misuse has always been a nightmare for security officers because it’s hard to detect and virtually impossible to prevent. Morgan Stanley made headlines and experienced this firsthand when one of its employees stole the customer information of roughly 350,000 clients, including account numbers.

The Takeaway:

To prevent employees from taking advantage of their access to private information, it is essential for financial institutions to enable continuous monitoring of internal activity and ensure employee permissions are properly granted. Taking these proactive measures will help companies prevent employees from extracting or manipulating data that is not required for their particular role.

Bank of Manhattan Mortgage Lending Cybersecurity Case Study - Financial Institutions

Case Study 2: Bank of Manhattan Mortgage Lending

Despite increased attention to security, practice shows that many incidents are caused by human error. No matter how advanced security mechanisms may be, they are only as good as the people implementing them. These tools are of little value in safeguarding against a negligent employee who discloses sensitive customer data—which is precisely what happened to Bank of Manhattan Mortgage Lending.

The Takeaway:

It is not enough to merely establish a strict security policy; rather, visibility across the entire IT infrastructure is a vital data integrity factor that provides the level of control needed to identify and eliminate critical security vulnerabilities.


Financial data protection is not a private, company-specific problem—it’s a universal, amorphous challenge faced by the global business community. Finding creative, efficient solutions to address data security issues requires ongoing collaboration, education, and above all else, learning from past mistakes (case studies).

Learn more about how PCA Technology Solutions is helping financial firms protect themselves and their customers.

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