By Mike Mason, general manager of cloud security, FairWarning
Success for financial institutions is ultimately measured by whether customers can trust them to safeguard their sensitive data. The best way to secure that data is to deploy multiple defensive measures, as no single option is completely infallible. Multiple barriers may seem redundant, but that’s the point – should one layer fail, numerous others are immediately at the ready to thwart any danger.
This is the reasoning behind defense-in-depth security. A security strategy of this kind implements numerous layers of defense against threats, including:
- Network security
- Endpoint security
- Application security
- Administrative controls
- Physical barriers
- Perimeter security
In this multi-layered approach, the first two layers – administrative controls and physical barriers – are social and physical methods of defending data. Technological defenses comprise the other defense-in-depth layers: technical controls based on the network systems, devices, hardware, software and other technology organizations rely on. Each layer of the defense-in-depth approach increases the security of personally identifiable information (PII) and other confidential data.
Addressing common security concerns
The three primary security concerns organizations most commonly face are the skilled attacker, the insider threat and a compromised system.
Often, skilled attackers rely on social engineering tactics like calling a help desk or emailing an employee to obtain names, numbers and other information to cross security barriers. If threats break through the perimeter or network security, additional layers like endpoint or application security can stop them.
Whether a current or former employee, the insider threat has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a company and uses that information to gain unauthorized access, often exporting large quantities of highly sensitive information. A defensive layer like application security with user activity monitoring can proactively alert admins to abnormal activity, preventing data loss.
With access to just one computer on a network, an attacker can quickly break into an organization’s entire infrastructure. Once inside this compromised system, they can rapidly hijack and override other security measures.
Security controls in the cloud
Industries storing PII or other sensitive data in cloud applications often rely on technical controls like CASB, DLP, user activity monitoring and SIEM solutions. While these are all excellent options for building a security program, each has its limitations and vulnerabilities. But when combined with multiple other layers, they support a nearly impenetrable security posture.
Cloud access security broker (CASB)
A CASB tool acts as a gatekeeper between on-premises and cloud-based infrastructures. CASBs can provide insights into cloud usage and help detect shadow IT operations.
However, many CASBs don’t cover SaaS applications like email programs, which are one of the biggest targets for hacking tactics like phishing. The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report showed that 98% of social attacks consist of phishing and pretexting incidents, and email is the most common path of attack, making up 96% of incidents. To prevent an influx of scam attempts, other layers of defense – like a network firewall and endpoint security – are necessary.
A CASB can integrate with user activity monitoring, ingesting event monitoring log data to detect potential threats and alert security teams. By adding cloud access data and event logs, InfoSec teams can gain in-depth visibility into application activity like creating or deleting contacts, running reports or exporting data in Salesforce.
Data loss prevention (DLP)
The goal of DLP solutions is to answer questions like:
- How can we prevent data loss?
- Where is sensitive data being stored?
- How is it being used?
DLP provides protective actions that can prevent users from accidentally or intentionally mishandling data by classifying sensitive data and alerting on policy violations. Unauthorized data use can put an organization at risk, but with monitoring, you can identify potential incidents before they cause catastrophe.
However, DLP solutions have their limitations. DLP relies on policies, but the policies may not work as intended based on a rigid set of controls. For example, if the program prevents users from sending PII to external drives and applications, a user trying to attach a file containing PII to an email would be blocked. That email may be perfectly in line with business operations, but the user is limited based on a rigid, transactional policy.
User activity monitoring
Proactively monitoring cloud applications gives organizations critical insights into security, usage, performance and compliance. It also fosters a culture of compliance to create trust among organizations, their users and their customers.
Security: Monitoring usually starts at the greatest point of pain—security—watching for signs of specific users, for instance, exporting abnormally large reports or logins occurring from restricted IP addresses.
Compliance: As regulations multiply, user activity monitoring ensures stronger security, avoidance of regulatory fines and business interruption, and greater trust among customers.
Performance: The metrics and availability of information within your cloud application provide insight into the end user experience. User monitoring supplies that information to improve application performance and user experience.
Usage/Adoption: By monitoring user activity, organizations can identify high performers and use them as a benchmark to help other users enhance their own usage and adoption.
Security information and event management (SIEM)
A SIEM system like Splunk or SolarWinds is an excellent start. But SIEMs are limited by configurations, cost, false positives and required staffing. To fully leverage a SIEM, someone needs to monitor logs and alerts 24/7. Without a dedicated team to pull reports and observe the logs, security threats may fall through the cracks.
To boost your security posture and reduce your attack surface, adding cloud-based user activity monitoring at the application layer provides additional visibility. You can get information like the IP address where an export originated and the name of the report exported by integrating user activity monitoring with a SIEM. Then, you can correlate that information with the SIEM for analysis. This reduces false positives and eliminates the need for a 24/7 monitoring staff.
A robust defense-in-depth strategy
To make sure your organization has a comprehensive defense-in-depth approach, review your current security measures and evaluate their effectiveness. Consider your organization’s:
- Network security such as VoIP protection, proxy content filters, remote access and wireless security.
- Endpoint security, which secures devices accessing an organization’s network remotely or wirelessly, including device firewalls, patch management, content security, antivirus, antispyware and host intrusion prevention systems.
- Application security, including user activity monitoring, dynamic app testing, encryption, application firewalls, database monitoring and runtime application self-protection technology
- Administrative security controls, such as policies and procedures for increased data protection.
- Physical security like keycards, access codes on locked doors and workstation locks.
- Perimeter security, which may include anti-virus and anti-malware programs, DLP solutions, perimeter firewalls, border routers and other boundaries between the public and private sides of a network.
It’s critical to establish customer and employee trust, maintain compliance and secure your mission-critical data through a defense-in-depth approach to cloud security. The best practices listed above will help you layer multiple strata of technology and security to protect your mission-critical assets.
About the author
Mike Mason oversees FairWarning’s marketplace communications and education efforts using his wealth of experience in online business strategy.
The internet has set up brands at every corner of the street and getting people to visit yours is a mix of skill and art. The attempts to layout customer roadmaps to your brand which aren’t abandoned are not new and the struggles are the same as before. In fact, the struggle to have your brand heard has piled up as competition keeps emerging and viewer attention span keeps getting fragmented. This has led to a surge in brands using conventional advertisements to highly compress their message to the audience.
This is not the best gameplan to bet on. Ads are perceived by many as intrusive, insincere and housing an ulterior motive. The audience is bombarded with ads from every angle and making it shorter does not really help. Most people don’t react the same way to guest posting.
A guest post is a piece of brand journalism which lives on a publisher’s website. Sponsored posts are an advertorial piece of long-form writing that is created to be highly engaging. They avoid the intrusive and abrupt conventional-approach of ads and indulge in a more respectful and subtle modern-approach for recommending your services or products.
Choosing the right platforms to publish your guest post is crucial as the platform is seen as your partner and representative. Your chosen platform must balance between writing a blog post and a traditional advertisement, stray away from being intrusive and stick with being subtle and respectful. At Global Banking and Finance (GBAF), we offer the opportunity to bank on our decade-long experience and expertise in writing balanced content like this.
How Can Guest Posts on GBAF Help You?
Constantly investing time and effort into writing and publishing on your blog is great for fostering and strengthening your already existing audience relationship but this doesn’t help you reach a new audience.
Guest posting opportunities on our platform gives you access to an untapped audience base. This is a significant advantage in two ways:
- Familiarity: We have built our audience through our authentic, thought-provoking and storytelling writing nature. Our audience is familiar and receptive to this writing style. When we adapt your content in the same format, it allows your content to have better reception compared to traditional ads. Also, your content will adapt to the environment of content which makes it feel natural and less abrupt or intrusive.
- Trust: When a consumer learns about your brand through someone they trust (someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too. Our audience’s trust means a chance for your brand’s voice to be heard. It also means having customers who have completed their journey of brand choice. When they choose you, it will be an additional choice of transition from our platform rather than a new choice of approaching you. They only have to go half-way.
With amplified brand reach and redefined trust, your brand visibility and credibility will be boosted. We also help you boost visibility by leveraging our social media channels which currently have 135k followers and keep growing every day.
Another major area of impact when doing guest posts with GBAF is the focus, delivery and expertise of writing. The audience members will engage with your content much more than they do with your traditional ads. This will increase the chances of convincing the customers who doubt, skepticize and speculate becoming customers of your brand from afar. Writing to deliver your promotion with value-driven content also allows you to plug in a recommendation at a crucial point of the problem with your brand as the solution.
Lastly, value-driven content avoids the intrusive BUY THIS! style of writing. Here, the focus is on communicating your knowledge and therefore allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.
All of these combined benefits act as a catalyst to boost your brand reach, funnel attention to your brand, gain a competitive advantage and knock down all other challenges presented in separating yourself from your competition.
Brand adoption is slow. Abandoning an old familiar brand route for a new one is difficult. People rarely reach out to brands and they sprint the other way if they see brands reach out to them through conventional and dull ads. In such a deadlock scenario guest posts can provide the perfect strategy to bet on.
Why Guest Posting is Your Best Bet
In a scenario where new businesses are popping up everyday, one of the major challenges brands face is that of devising an organic and effective way to get the attention of their target audience. And one of the first solutions that comes to mind is the internet and consecutively, digital marketing. Even though its all-pervasive nature has made it both super-easy to reach people across the globe, the internet also comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will discuss the tough-to-crack parts of digital marketing, things that almost every brand representative or marketing executive has to face in the present date.
The oversimplification of digital communication has deceived many brands into believing that it’s the only way to reach their audience. However, the reality is hardly so. Today, there are more platforms and media formats than there have ever been before and newer ones keep emerging everyday. As a result, the netizens have developed a rapidly decreasing attention span. As a result, brands are wrestling to fit their message into as tiny a space as possible in what can only be called conventional methods of advertising.
For many brands, digital marketing proves to be an ordeal that takes years to crack, all the while draining the brand’s potential for more business and/or larger reach. It is worth noting that one of the major challenges that most businesses face is that of people avoiding ads altogether; no matter how good your ad is, chances are that people don’t want to see it, resulting in zero engagement. The second and bigger challenge is that short messages don’t convert those who are unaware of your brand, to brand loyalists. Instead, these ads are likely to affect only those who are already considering buying into what your brand is offering, which might be a small share.
This is where Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF) comes in. We offer you the opportunity to overcome both the challenges (and more) in one go through our guest post services.
Guest Posts Have An Edge Over Normative Advertisements
Guest posts are advertorial pieces of long-form writing, created with an aim to engage the audience by taking away the impression of normative ads. How? Sponsored posting articles are so designed that they address the audience’s demands or queries, and also offer your brand as a solution instead of point-blank marketing. Consequently, this makes the audience spend a longer time engaging with your brand than they would do with, say, a pop-up ad. Through a guest blog post, your brand has the space to engage in a fair exchange because the article delivers value to your audience rather than being a conventional sales-driven advertisement.
To sum it up, sponsored posts fall right on the sweet spot between a blog post and a traditional advertisement on the spectrum of advertising.
Here’s Why You Should Run Guest Posts on GBAF
At GBAF, our team understands the importance of the environment in which your brand is introduced to an audience, something that leaves a lasting impact on their minds. It goes without saying that this very impression will influence and drive their future decisions on whether they want to engage with your brand and buy what you’re selling. Hence, it is our staff that is usually responsible for writing the posts that go up for your brand on our website. This allows for the sponsored post to merge in seamlessly with the existing content in our website instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. The aim in doing so is to create these posts in a way that does not distract or seem abrupt as guest posts are meant to be adaptive to an existing environment. So, even though it is essentially promoting your brand, a sponsored post is more of a brand journalism piece than an ad.
On our platform, we understand the importance readers attach to authenticity and value. This also allows GBAF to have a firm grip on introducing your brand effectively while simultaneously catering to the audience’s needs. Our team works around the clock to gain our audience’s trust by continually delivering authentic and value-driven content to our readers for more than a decade. When you partner with us, that resource pool is easy to tp into. When a consumer learns about your brand through a reliable source (for instance, someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too.
Why You Need to Take Guest Posting Seriously
When customers are largely in control of marketing conversations, traditional advertisement has lost its touch. How you educate your prospects and out-educate your competitors now win the battle and generate leads.
If you’re the spokesperson of a brand or if it is your job to tell a story that your customers care about, you know how important it is to be generous, to share your ideas on a platform that promotes storytelling, and to position your brand as the most trusted partner for your customers.
The challenge with quick, easy micro-copy is that it fails to make an impact. It’s like a quick-fix that we try to use in everything we do. However, quick-fixes don’t heal a burning pain-point. A thoughtful, easy-to-read, user-friendly guide does.
At Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF), we help you help your customers. Here’s how.
Guest Posting: How it Works
Guest posting is the art of telling your story to your audience without shoving it down their throats. It’s not an advertisement, but a thought-leadership content piece that educates & promotes your brand to your target audience without interrupting them.
- Our editorial team works your content piece to present your brand on our website
- The sponsored articles adhere to the context, the tone, the voice of your brand and represent it in the way you’d like to portray to your audience
- The content piece is lucidly written and only does one job, i.e. educating your audience
- The piece is long-form of content that allows your target audience to engage with your brand longer (much more than an advertisement)
- It doesn’t distract, interrupt, or intrude the audience
- Sponsored posts are designed and articulated to solve the audience’s pain-point and showcase your brand as a solution-provider
Why Should You Run Guest Posts on GBAF?
GBAF is a platform that garners a community of over 135,000. Here are four reasons for which you should run guest posts on GBAF:
- We help you increase the engagement with your audience: We don’t depend on surveys to understand what your target audience wants. For the last ten years, we have been serving various kinds of readers. And we know them personally. Thus, we know how to place your content to increase engagement.
- We put your audience ahead of the marketing funnel: When you run an ad, you start from scratch. And as a result, the first step is always to start with the beginning of the marketing funnel. When you publish a guest post on our platform, your target audience already begins to trust you since we’ve put years of work in building the community.
- We help you generate leads: An ad is interruptive. When you submit a guest post on GBAF, it teaches instead. And directs the audience to take action. As a result, you generate more leads. In this era of marketing, the brand that educates better, profits more.
- We offer you cost-effective solutions: When you run sponsored articles on GBAF, you’re in charge of your budget. You decide how much you’d like to spend per month. And we support you with cost-effective solutions backed up with the results so that you can calculate your ROI upfront.
How to Submit a Guest Post on GBAF
- Check categories:
- B2B: CSR, Green Tech, AI & Big Data, Ongoing Training for Employees, Manufacturing
- B2C: Travel Destinations, Trends on Buying a Home, Working Remotely, Electronics
- Follow guidelines:
- Format: Word format
- Send at: [email protected] (or use this page to submit a guest post)
- Length: 750 – 1000 words
- Image: We need an image of the author (specifications: width – 800 px. & heigh – 600 px.) with original credits
- Additional requirements:
- Author Bio: Provide an author bio (name, title, affiliation, bio, and contact). You can add a link
- Profile: Give a brief overview of the company, key information about the company, major projects, certifications, and company logo. Please submit the profile in word format
We review your submission and if it adheres to our submission guidelines and quality standards, we will connect with you before publishing the article.
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