Why IT Needs a Seat at the Table

Why IT Needs a Seat at the Table

Technology is moving faster than ever. In 2019, we saw yet another record-breaking year of cybersecurity threats and attacks. Whether it’s targeted warfare or just “spraying” to determine who’s vulnerable, the threats are real. Here are some interesting facts recently shared by Lily Teplow in an MSP blog:

  1. It’s predicted that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually.
  2. On average, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds.
  3. 95% of cybersecurity breaches can be traced back to human error.
  4. 62% of small businesses claim that they lack the skills in-house to be able to properly deal with security issues.
  5. 60% of small businesses go out of business after a breach.

In today’s environment, IT needs a seat at the boardroom table. We all know that every decision made in your financial institution involves risk. Today, the boardroom needs to discuss every risk with technology in mind and needs a team of experts evaluating all ideas, processes and techniques to assure the latest threats are being addressed. What we believe was secure yesterday may very well not be secure tomorrow.

In addition to evaluating your own processes, it is critical to consider the risk your customers face, as well. If 60% of small businesses go out of business after a breach, then having your customer breached means your institution could be at risk from a business perspective. There was a high-profile case in Arkansas in Q4 2019 that caused a 300+ employee company to close its doors after a ransomware attack. The company didn’t have the proper measures in place to recover and opted to shut down operations sending all employees home and left vendors questioning what happens next. Education is a key component in addressing this epidemic.

Does your institution have a strategy to educate your internal team on a regular basis? Are you testing your users and then training those that fail? And are you doing it often enough? What about your customers – do you play a role in educating them? These are all questions you need to ask in the boardroom. A strategic plan to be in front of your customers as a trusted advisor will make you more competitive in today’s highly aggressive and ever-changing market. As the next generation becomes many of your consumers, building trust as an overall advisor has value that sets you apart from the “big boys”. If you were the financial institution of the above-mentioned company, and you were leveraging the opportunity to educate them on their risk, could their business have been saved? We’ll never know but it’s time for us to pursue options to raise awareness and offer solutions to assist.

As a leading technology provider for 25 years, we have a hashtag that we reference often - #TheThreatsAreReal. We believe that a collaborative approach to educating and protecting small businesses is necessary and we believe financial institutions provide a valuable part in it. If you agree, let’s strategize together and change the world – or at least Arkansas!


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