It’s that time of the year again.  The annual month where suddenly everyone is a college basketball expert; March Madness.  This past weekend, I found myself glued to my television set watching as teams played one another hoping for the win and their chance to enter the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  The college game has changed drastically since I played.


No longer is it an inside out game, where you’d throw the ball down low to your dominate big man who would either power his way in and score or draw enough of the defense to kick it out to the perimeter to an open three-point shooter.  The game is all about the three-point shot.  Players are now actually passing up on wide open layups in favor of a semi-open chance at a three. This massive foundational change in offense has dramatically changed the way defense is played as well.


Teams are stocked full of player willing and capable of shooting from three-point range.  The threats are now everywhere on the floor, at every position the moment the ball passes half court.


Financial services mirror the same changes we see in NCAA Basketball play. So much of the attention has been focused upon the disruption coming from all the Fintech startups, customer expectations, regulations, the list could go on and on and on…  All this disruption has forced financial service firms to rethink their security.  No longer can security be a layer you add on top, security needs to be at the very foundational layer of everything you do.  Every access point, application, web portal, device must be secured.


The average cost of a cyber-attack in the financial services industry is $16.63 million, whereas the global average across all industries is $9.5 million, this according to Ponemon Institute.   In other words, a cyber-attack for financial services firms is almost 80% more costly than in other industries.  So, the “business as usual” approach can result in major data breaches.  Cyber criminals are too smart for information security teams to become complacent.  Staying ahead of threats requires detection and response via analytics, big data, and machine learning.  You need a network that’s learning, adapting and protecting – one that gets smarter every time someone tries to hack it.


Digital transformation requires a secure infrastructure that operates at digital speed, quickly identifying and containing threats while protecting customer data and remaining compliant.  Financial service firms need a security posture that offers prevention, detection and response, automation and Intelligence.  The days of relying on that one big guy to stop everything have passed us all by, its time financial services firms play stout team defense.


My advice – take the time and pick a good bracket, tune in next week were we’ll dive deeper into the prevention, detection, and automation and explore this website for more information – website at http://www.cisco.com/go/fsi


Danny Vicente

Global Lead - Sports, Media, and Entertainment

Global Private Sector Industries