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Data Classification for Financial Services – The First Line of Defence

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A data breach is a serious incident for any business, but for Financial Services organisations, operating at the heart of national and international financial systems, it can be particularly damaging. Financial Services firms face increasing challenges with risk, compliance and data protection, so it was no surprise that the recent Bloor survey on Practices for Enhancing Data Security found that Financial Services organisations report the most concerns over data security.

Compared with commercial and manufacturing organisations, almost all respondents from Financial Services see data security as serious or critical and 61% say their concerns over data security are increasing. Financial services firms were also the most likely to both have a data classification policy in place and to use a data classification tool.

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Many of our Financial Services customers report that they implemented data classification in order to be able to better manage the high volumes of sensitive financial and personal identifiable information (PII) in circulation and what’s interesting is how many recognise that user awareness is key to the success of their data security. I recently interviewed Russian bank DeltaCredit who report an overall change of culture in relation to IT security as a result of implementing Boldon James Classifier. Their CISO, Alex Lola said “Data classification is not just about protection of the information – it’s there to change the security culture in the organisation, as it affects every employee in your organisation.” This view is shared by Allianz Ireland who were specifically looking for a Data Classification solution which would be visible to employees, so that they would be aware of Data Classification and their obligations around it. Indeed, Allianz Ireland saw a 60% improvement in adherence to security guidelines and awareness, as well as a reduction of 89% in policy breaches, as a resulting of implementing data classification.

There’s no doubt that classification can help financial services firms deliver tangible benefits such as reducing risk, protecting intellectual property & reputation and increasing information effectiveness, whilst ensuring compliance with key industry regulations.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Data Classification for Financial Services, we’ll be at the Data Risk Management in Financial Services summit next week. The event, which takes place on 27th of April at the London Stock Exchange, brings CISOs and security experts together to debate the threats to data security in the Financial Services sector both internal and external.

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