IT Infrastructure for Financial Services: Things to Consider
Financial services and banking institutions require unique IT infrastructures in order to provide secure, confidential services to their clients while protecting personnel and company proprietary information. The IT infrastructure of such an institution must include physical and digital security, as well as the ability to handle the level of performance and reliability needed to protect the dependability of its operation and reputation. In other words, careful consideration must go into the data center design, access control protocols, security measures, etc. If you are going to install or update the IT infrastructure of your bank or financial services company, you’ll need to make sure you cover all of your bases.
Physical Security Infrastructure
Financial institutions must be able to protect their clients’ information from the prying eyes of opportunistic thieves and invasions of privacy, deliberate and accidental. Physical security measures are vital to the trust and integrity of any business, but particularly for those in the financial services industry. To keep your financial institution secure, you should consider the following aspects of IT infrastructure:
Access Control Systems
Access to your facility is the primary point where you can stop potential thieves and unauthorized personnel from finding sensitive information or harming your employees in an attempt to steal money or data. By having multiple points of controlled access, you hinder a would-be thief’s ability to steal. For example, some financial institutions have a primary door that leads into a hall or lobby, but then a locked door leads into a reception area that must be unlocked by a receptionist. Elevators and doors to offices, IT departments, and other restricted areas are also locked, and all doors automatically lock during opening and closing times, when such institutions are typically the most vulnerable. Authorized access can only be gained with particular key cards, biometrics, or other protocols.
Security and CCTV
The use of video surveillance systems and closed circuit television may seem an obvious choice in the financial services industry, but there are ways to use security and CCTV to give your clients a whole new level of trust and protection. For example, some banks can utilize CCTV to match transaction details such as withdrawal time and amount with video timestamps in order to verify the authenticity of these transactions, reducing fraud risk and effectively addressing any incidences of fraud. It is also considered prudent to add two-way audio and video systems to all ATMs and drive-thru areas. Many banks are beginning to do this in order to verify identities of both tellers and customers, allowing both to see one another as transactions are carried out.
A sound masking system is critical in a bank or other financial services business. Whether you have people walking into your bank and discussing personal information with tellers and advisors, or you have financial planners on the phones in cubicles, sound masking can protect your clients’ sensitive information. Without sound masking machines, conversations on phones or in person can be more readily overheard, and intentional or opportunistic thieves may use the information gleaned to steal money or even identities. That liability rests on you and your company. By using a sound masking system, clients’ private information remains more secure and so does your business’ reputation and integrity.
Digital Security Infrastructure
In the modern era of digital banking, online trading, and data centers that store terabytes upon terabytes of personal, private information, a bank or financial company cannot afford to rely solely on physical security measures. Hackers and thieves have launched cyber attacks on businesses large and small, leading to the compromise of millions of customers’ and clients’ financial information. When you’re considering and planning the IT infrastructure of your financial institution, you need to take into account the digital security of your company, including your data center and network infrastructure.
Network security is your primary defense against cyber attacks, but when you don’t know the risks that pose a threat to your network security, you can’t be sure how you can safeguard your network against them. There are a number of ways you can protect your financial company’s data, and because of the sensitive nature of the data your company carries, you should be extremely strict and vigilant about these protocols. Furthermore, you will need to specifically design your data center to offer the highest level of security and performance to ensure that you don’t lose any of your clients’ vital personal data or allow it to become compromised.
Data Center Design
The general principles of data center design for banks and financial services institutions aren’t too much different from data center design best practices for other types of companies. However, when dealing with financials, security is far more important, to the point where there are laws and regulations on the matter in the financial sector. When designing your data center, you must ensure that it is compliant with all SEC and other government rules on cybersecurity.
Overwhelmed? Make Sure It All Gets Done Right with Expert IT Infrastructure Planning and Installation for Financial Services!
Between the compliance rules, layers upon layers of security protocols and requirements, and figuring out how to wire all the systems, establishing a strong IT infrastructure at a financial company or bank can be a lot to handle. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone.
Customer 1st Communications has the experience and knowledge needed to evaluate your IT infrastructure needs, plan the infrastructure layout, and install it within your budget and your timeframe. Whether you are looking for data center design, access control systems, or a complete IT infrastructure setup, we can get the job done and get it done right the first time. Call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212) or contact us online for more information or to schedule your free consultation.