How Are Financial Institutions Navigating the Effects of the Pandemic?
The coronavirus pandemic has been unlike anything most of us have ever seen before—quickly and dramatically altering both business operations and personal lives now and likely into the future.
Organisations around the world have been forced to adapt to evolving guidelines and a sudden influx or reduction in business, with financial institutions at the top of the list of those seeing a significant change.
Though characteristics vary depending on the facility, most financial institutions include some sort of lobby, teller area, and ATM/drive-through service—all of which have been impacted during this unprecedented time. The way that the effects have materialized can generally be divided into two categories: daily operations and technology/security efforts.
The onset of the pandemic required financial institutions to take a step back and comprehensively review their business continuity plans. Though many organisations had some sort of resource on paper, this situation demanded the ability to actually implement the policies and procedures—some of which created difficult decisions for management personnel.
After initial closures in the first few days, many institutions have transitioned to a remote workforce with drive-through operations available onsite. Some organisations have consolidated smaller locations or closed lobbies completely, while others are allowing appointment-based visits.
In addition to front-end operations, many financial organisations are finding ways to take advantage of the downtime from the reduction in foot traffic. Though budgets for new purchases and planned projects generally remain intact, in certain geographic regions, some installations have been delayed and in others some forge ahead, actually driving productivity for installations and service in the branch.
Some institutions are using this time to address tasks that may have been put on the backburner, such as analysis of the bank or credit union’s technology footprint and risk assessments.
Technology and Security
Financial institutions face inherent security risks on a daily basis, and the uncertainty and challenges of the pandemic have added a new level of unpredictability. Organisations have found relying on technology to be beneficial when it comes to risk mitigation, as having a security system in place that is poised to respond to evolving threats has proven exceptionally valuable.
Today’s banks and credit unions are focused on ensuring their systems are operational and functioning properly, with the aforementioned downtime giving operators the opportunity to perform software upgrades and firmware updates.
They are also taking this time to virtually enhance training and product knowledge, ensuring that they’re leveraging the right tools and systems to the best of their ability to accomplish their security goals.
Additionally, as some fraudsters are unfortunately using this time to increase activity, financial institutions are turning to solutions that incorporate both cyber and physical components for end-to-end coverage. These platforms include video systems that were designed in conjunction with IT teams, the ability to create powerful audit reports and manage user privileges from a centralized platform, and techniques such as encryption and password hygiene.
Overall, financial institutions are taking this experience day by day while simultaneously trying to plan for the future and determine what long-term repercussions they may need to address. The pandemic taught banks and credit unions to think in new ways about being prepared for the unexpected, and leading organisations have found that an intelligent security solution can help make that possible.
Verint recently hosted a webinar with some of the country’s leading credit unions. Watch on-demand as they share how they are adapting to today’s landscape. In addition, you can see how Verint’s security investigation and compliance solutions can help.
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