Financial institution executives believe that cybersecurity threats will present the greatest challenge to their industry in 2021, according to a recent survey conducted by core technology provider CSI. And consider this story from, where hackers attacked a bank’s security system and took over their cameras. Even after the bank replaced the cameras, the hackers were so embedded that the bank had to replace its entire security system. The lesson? Don’t underestimate the risk of a cyberattack.

Blended threats

Many financial institutions believe that their current security program is good enough—but is it? The threats we face are dynamic, emerging, and global, and they often keep one foot on each side of the physical and digital divide. These blended threats require connecting data, building new capabilities, and gaining new insights, thereby eroding the distance between the roles and responsibilities of physical and cybersecurity teams.  

The need for physical security isn’t going away, so it’s imperative that physical security teams and cybersecurity teams work together to ensure a holistic approach to financial institution security. So, how can your financial institution benefit from a collaborative working relationship between the physical security team and the cybersecurity team?

Adopt emerging technologies with confidence 

As new IoT devices enter the market they can open up a lot of security vulnerabilities. Imagine the scenario where an attacker successfully gains entry to a server room or data center and installs malware or devices to capture confidential, sensitive data—or even brings down the network entirely. How would a financial institution with a conjoined physical and cybersecurity strategy mitigate this situation?  

In this instance, cybersecurity teams faced with intruders could quickly connect the cyber footprint to a physical location. By mapping cyber and physical presence against one another, it’s possible to understand where threats originate. If an intrusive device is planted within an environment, cybersecurity teams can track its presence to its origin and identify those responsible for bringing it in via video surveillance footage. This provides a better view of the threat and more tools to protect valuable assets.

Additionally, consider developing the proper risk mindset and engage across the organization to innovate and behave collaboratively, thereby cultivating an institutionalized approach to governance, controls, and data protections. Cross-organizational cooperation can synergistically carve a path to adopting new IoT technology. 

Deepen your customers’ trust

Online banking and mobile banking have skyrocketed with the pandemic. Extending a digital trust experience into branch locations and physical touch points with customers and members is imperative. 90% of consumers said they feel safer when they can see video surveillance cameras in their bank or credit union and would choose a financial institution with surveillance over one without, all other things being equal. In the age of COVID-19, consumers will be expecting physical distancing measures, cleaning protocols, and mask compliance. Addressing these challenges does not have to mean manual monitoring and processes. New physical security technologies with integrated artificial intelligence can look for multiple threats using multiple sensors in an integrated and seamless response. 

Create synergies–branch transformation 

As branches are redesigned to be more open with self-service kiosks and digital signage, tellers will not be behind a desk but will instead be roaming the branch to assist customers with more complex transactions, like home purchases, retirement, or the intricacies of starting a business. This leaves the opportunity for an integrated networked security solution in this physical domain that can provide critical customer experience data around people-counting and queue length/occupancy for branch performance metrics, but also cover perimeter security and asset protection concerns for both on-site and remote teams. Harnessing the insights from video data for evolving customer experiences becomes a competitive advantage to win.

Being successful today elicits a holistic approach to security to ensure there is consistent protection of consumer data, employees, brand reputation, and infrastructure. Digital transformation for the physical security world has evolved as innovation enables the harnessing of insights from video data to feed a dashboard of information for lines of business with revenue-generation initiatives. Together, physical and cybersecurity teams will be positioned to combat emerging threats, mitigate risk, and deliver value across the organization beyond their traditional roles.

To learn more about a modern approach to security, visit our financial services home page.