Regional banks and other financial institutions rely heavily on the use of technology to conduct their day-to-day operations. Modern-day consumers want modern-day banking solutions, and this need to conform to consumer needs has shifted the internal IT infrastructure of many financial institutions worldwide. Cloud-based storage, mobile applications, and online banking have increased the IT footprint of financial establishments, and increased focus on compliance, security, and efficient risk management have come to light over the last decade.
Because of these shifts, many financial institutions are opting to outsource their IT operations to managed service providers (MSPs). However, how do you know what to look for when evaluating an MSP? We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 ways MSPs can add value and increase ROI.
Many banking security and compliance regulations have changed to align with the new ways that banks are conducting business. These regulations, focused on the IT infrastructure being used to support local banks, are meant to protect the personal information of the clients they serve. Navigating through the compliance certification and auditing process can be daunting, especially if in-house IT staff are unfamiliar with the process.
While banking institutions are not required to be SOC 2 compliant, the vendors that they utilize for cloud storage should be. Selecting a managed service provider that has undergone a SOC 2 audit has many benefits. First, these providers understand the complexities of IT compliance audits, and how to optimize an IT infrastructure to meet regulatory demands. It also means they’ve taken the time themselves to complete an intensive audit process, showing they value security and compliance as much as you do.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is 3.86 million dollars, and the average time it takes to identify and contain a breach is 280 days. For many institutions, a loss of that magnitude could cause irreparable damage. To help combat against a costly data breach, companies are investing in new security tools as new technologies are implemented. This can quickly become expensive and cumbersome, causing strain on the budget and the IT staff responsible for maintaining these solutions.
When partnering with an MSP, especially one that understands cybersecurity and how it can impact financial institutions, you get to leverage the tools they have in place to manage your infrastructure. This offers instant value because the tools in place are backed by industry-defined standards and best practices.
Access to Top Talent
Another advantage of opting to partner with an MSP to manage your IT infrastructure is that it grants you access to the top talent in the industry. A qualified MSP has engineers with expertise in several IT disciplines, as well as hands-on experience dealing with compliance and security issues. This means that bank IT directors will spend less time troubleshooting and scrambling to gather audit data, and more time using technology to enhance business processes and customer satisfaction.
A Custom IT Roadmap
Partnering with an MSP that understands the needs of a financial institution and the path they need to be on is an invaluable benefit that should be considered when evaluating providers. These service providers understand how to optimize the IT infrastructure of a financial institution so that it aligns with their business initiatives, which creates a path for future growth.
A strong IT roadmap should clearly outline all proposed recommendations and the costs, durations, and impacts associated with each. These recommendations should be prioritized in order of risk level and importance to business objectives.
Effective Risk Management
A preliminary IT assessment is crucial for the development of an MSP scope of work for ongoing services. This helps the service provider understand the full security posture of a banking institution, including; vulnerabilities, risks, or concerns that should be addressed immediately. A holistic approach to risk management that encompasses a bank’s entire infrastructure allows for a thorough risk management plan, one that will be a key part of the IT roadmap. As new solutions are implemented into the environment, continued risk analysis should be conducted.
Continual assessment of risk helps plan for the unexpected and protects companies from unforeseen challenges, making it an obvious value-added service in any MSP proposal.
The Case for BBH
BBH is a Managed Service Provider based out of New York City, specializing in compliance and security support. Our SOC 2 attestation positions us to understand the unique nuances of the security audit process. Our engineering team is composed of some of the brightest in the industry, and they are passionate about helping local institutions, regional banks, and other financial institutions maintain secure, optimized IT environments.
To learn more about what goes into a vendor's SOC 2 audit, download our whitepaper.