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“What’s in Your Wallet?” Isn’t the Question Community Banks Should be Asking

For Security and IT staff at community banks and credit unions, it’s not “What’s in your wallet?” but rather “Who’s in your data?” that matters.

The banking sector is one of the most demanding ones when it comes to security and compliance. IT environments holding highly sensitive data are not only scrutinized by regulators but are also prime targets for opportunistic bad actors.

Compounding the problem is the issue of heterogeneity. Even community banks and credit unions, with just a few dozen branch locations, must contend with the challenge of being decentralized, both geographically and organizationally. They also typically have a broad spectrum of technologies, from legacy mainframes to hybrid cloud computing deployments, that they have amassed over the years.

While under tremendous pressure to meet the highest service levels, banks are facing an ever-changing landscape of attacks, vulnerabilities and access related compliance requirements, which means they must always keep information security as a foremost priority.

For years, large banks and financial institutions have implemented identity governance programs that employ teams of identity experts to control who has access to applications and data, periodically review that access, and produce reports for auditors.

Faced with many of the same challenges, but with far more limited resources, smaller community banks and credit unions have pushed through these requirements with time-consuming and error-prone manual processes. However, auditors have begun to notice and are calling for correctional action.

Thankfully identity governance delivered through a SaaS model has opened the gates for community banks and other industries to tackle their security and compliance challenges without becoming experts or hiring new identity focused teams. These smaller banks and credit unions are now quickly realizing the benefits realized by removing the management of hardware and getting rapid deployments, quick time to value, and continuous upgrades.  Also, manual access reviews can be converted to automated processes that can be performed periodically to help ensure ongoing compliance.

As an added upside for many of these community banks and credit unions, SaaS identity governance provides additional capabilities that can become quick wins for internal IT teams and provide immediate ROI. For example, some customers show an immediate savings of up to 40% in help desk calls, just from the implementation of IdentityNow SaaS Password Management. Cost savings like these allow the investment in identity security to quickly pay-for-itself, meaning institutions not only have access to identity management that was not previously practical for their IT staff, but they can also now easily justify the OPEX expenditure.

Given that the adoption of new amenities like mobile pay, photo check cashing, and a host of other “on-the-go” cloud services continue to rise, it’s clear that the need for identity governance in the banking sector will also continue to increase for community banks and credit unions for the foreseeable future.

Learn more about solving security and compliance challenges with identity.