By Gal Helemski, Co-Founder and CTO, PlainID
The banking industry has an extensive history of utilizing complex access control systems to deliver on the financial needs of its clients. Compared to other industries, this level of familiarity comes as a benefit to the banks as they can be considered a knowledgeable resource for handling data protection and authorization management.
As technology continues to push for more businesses to operate virtually, the demand for banks to migrate their historic data into more modern increases. Banks may face challenges with this demand simply because they’re operating with outdated systems. While an outdated system may still be able to deliver its core functions of managing authorizations and access, the risk of usability, adaptability, and auditability issues persists.
After decades of working primarily out of brick-and-mortar institutions, banks are now in a position to step away from traditional banking and focus more on providing a seamless digital experience. In this Internet age, legacy authorization management tools are not capable of providing the level of efficiency needed to secure personal financial data existing on websites and applications that consumers use as a basic part of their banking experience.
Moving away from outdated, home-built access control tools will increase efficiency for banks relying on core access control features. The value in replacing legacy systems with modern tools can support the financial industry’s special authorization needs while giving banks a chance to gain agility and increase security measures.
In terms of essentials, a core set of features are necessary for an access control solution to operate effectively for modern banks.
Banks’ business decisions and authorization
Beyond managing users and access permissions, banks are using access controls to support their business needs. By developing access controls designed with business-oriented policies, modern banks are prioritizing how they engage consumers through digital channels. on various websites and applications. Aligning access controls with business decisions encourages consumers to utilize digital channels in customizable ways.
Integrated compliance and auditing
Compliance rules within the financial industry frequently change to ensure better business practices. Banks must be able to align their access policies to comply with current and new regulations. Equally important, banks need to be able to perform systematic audits to ensure compliance needs are being met.
To have an effective access control system, it’s not always required to build and maintain one for in-house purposes. Developing that kind of infrastructure is expensive and tends to require a dedicated team of developers for coding and IT engineers for implementations and maintenance. In the case of handling such sensitive information, a group of security engineers would need to be added to this development team.
On-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments support
Organizations within the financial industry house their internal data to varying degrees and banks are no different. Some modern banks have completely migrated their infrastructure so that it solely runs on a public cloud. On the other hand, some are still conducting business on-premises, while other banks have adopted a hybrid approach. In traditional circumstances, switching from on-premises to cloud to hybrid would be an overwhelming experience for companies and consumers. Modern banks are adapting to modern authorization management tools that are versatile and able to function in all environments.
The key to effective bank security: Policy-Based Access Control (PBAC)
Considering these core features, banks are using PBAC, as the most effective modern approach to authorizing who has access and to what within the banking industry.
PBAC gives companies the ability to develop their access policies using plain language and then automate it across various environments. The benefit of this approach is that it makes it easier for employees to use and gives IT specialists back their time for other business initiatives. Regardless of the company’s infrastructure, PBAC policies can be applied across legacy and modern applications on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid setting.
Over time, policy mining can be implemented to automatically identify which relationships and access are needed within an organization’s IT infrastructure. Once this is established, then PBAC uses policy mining to help create policies to support whatever is identified. PBAC also exists to help with auditing and updating policies, so companies can feel empowered to make time-sensitive changes with ease.
Banks need a change now. By utilizing a modern access control solution, it lessens the burden of having to coordinate different specialists for particular activities. Banks are being enabled to implement access controls using ready-made services. However, through automated access policy solutions, the time it takes for IT teams to administer the system can now be time spent on maintaining ongoing efficiency and troubleshooting. With PBAC, modern banks can rely on a security approach that offers full visibility into users and what they can access with a flexible approach.