Data management in financial services: Why tech talent matters

Data management in financial services: Why tech talent matters

Posted August 24, 2023

In the present age of digital advancements, financial institutions confront a mounting quantity of data that requires proficient handling. Effective data management holds immense importance in the ongoing functioning of financial services as it empowers firms to make well-informed choices, enhance customer experiences and gain a competitive advantage.

With the continuous expansion and intricacy of data, financial firms face noteworthy obstacles in guaranteeing data security and adhering to regulatory standards. Here, we’ll explore two challenges faced by financial institutions in data management and the role of skilled technology professionals in addressing them.

Data management challenges financial services face

Financial services companies continually face a plethora of challenges; among the more prominent — and perhaps most difficult to address — are data security and compliance.

Data security

Data security is a primary concern for financial institutions due to the often-sensitive nature of the information they handle. Banks, insurance companies and investment firms are entrusted with vast amounts of customer data, including personal and financial details. Protecting this information from unauthorised access, breaches or cyber threats is of utmost importance.

During 2022, the financial sector emerged as the primary target of cyber assaults, accounting for approximately 27% of the total attacks. These breaches pose severe consequences such as substantial monetary setbacks, reputational harm, and potential legal ramifications, emphasising the importance of adopting a proactive and all-encompassing data strategy towards safeguarding data integrity.

The increase in digital platforms and the rising popularity of remote banking have broadened the scope for cybercriminals to exploit. Hence, financial institutions are confronted with the task of safeguarding data across multiple avenues, such as web applications, mobile devices, and cloud-based platforms. To tackle this issue effectively, they must adopt encryption methods, employ multi-factor authentication, deploy intrusion detection systems, and conduct routine security audits to promptly identify and rectify any vulnerabilities that may arise; hiring the right professionals to do so.

Data compliance

Comprehensive regulations govern the handling and protection of data within the financial services sector. Financial institutions are required to strictly abide by these regulatory frameworks, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented by the European Union and Australia’s Privacy Act 1988. Non-compliance with these standards carries unfavourable consequences, including substantial fines, legal consequences and negative implications for the institution’s reputation.

Complying with regulations is a prudent endeavour due to the evolving nature of the legal landscape and the diverse geographic jurisdictions in which financial firms operate. Data management practices must align with the specific requirements of each regulation, which often involves implementing stringent access controls, data retention policies and consent management mechanisms.

Additionally, financial firms are required to exhibit a comprehensive understanding of the data they gather and its processing procedures, as well as gain consent from their customers. Upholding precise records, conducting frequent audits, and guaranteeing the lawful handling of data are fundamental aspects of ensuring data compliance.

The main challenge with data compliance is in making sure that every t is crossed and every i dotted — with nothing overlooked. The ongoing threat of data breaches and the capacity to align with stringent regulatory frameworks require modern technological solutions and skilled tech talent.

The role of tech talent in overcoming data management challenges

To effectively address the data management challenges faced by financial institutions, it’s crucial to leverage the skills and expertise of tech professionals. Below, we will highlight how those with the relevant tech skills can help overcome the obstacles presented by data security and compliance.

Data security expertise

To prevent the increasing threat of cyberattacks and protect customer data, financial firms require tech professionals with the following three skills:

#1: Cybersecurity

Hiring individuals well-versed in cybersecurity practices is essential for implementing robust security measures. These professionals should possess a deep understanding of the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and attack vectors, enabling them to proactively identify and mitigate risks.

#2: Encryption and authentication

Skilled tech talent should be proficient in encryption techniques to secure sensitive data during storage and transmission. Implementing strong encryption algorithms and establishing multi-factor authentication mechanisms adds an extra layer of protection against unauthorised access.

#3: Intrusion detection and prevention

Technology talent who’re knowledgeable in intrusion detection systems (IDS) can actively monitor network traffic, detect suspicious activities, and respond swiftly to potential breaches. By deploying effective IDS solutions, financial institutions can promptly identify and mitigate security incidents.

Data compliance skills

To navigate the complex and nuanced landscape of data compliance, financial institutions need tech professionals who possess the following three areas of expertise:

#1: Regulatory knowledge

Hiring individuals well-versed in the relevant regulations, such as GDPR, Privacy Act and other regional frameworks, is vital. These professionals should stay updated with the evolving legal landscape and have a comprehensive understanding of the specific requirements of each regulation.

#2: Access controls and consent management

Skilled technology talent should be proficient in encryption techniques to secure sensitive data during storage and transmission. Implementing strong encryption algorithms and establishing multi-factor authentication mechanisms adds an extra layer of protection against unauthorised access.

#3: Data governance and auditing

Financial firms must maintain precise records and conduct frequent audits to demonstrate compliance. Tech professionals skilled in data governance can establish frameworks that ensure the lawful handling of data, facilitate data inventory management, and enable efficient auditing processes.

By leveraging the expertise of tech talent with the aforementioned skills, financial institutions can work to overcome data management challenges. These tech professionals can implement comprehensive security measures, establish stringent access controls, conduct regular audits, and ensure the lawful handling of data.

How financial services can source top tech talent

When it comes to hiring tech talent for data management in financial services, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. The following five rapid-fire tips can help organisations attract and retain the right professionals while strengthening their Employee Value Proposition (EVP):

  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities: Clearly outline job roles and responsibilities to attract candidates with both the right hard and soft skills.
  • Showcase career growth: Highlight career advancement opportunities, leadership progressions and specialised training programs.
  • Offer competitive compensation: Provide attractive compensation packages aligned with — or ahead of — financial services industry standards.
  • Promote positive work environment: Prioritise diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance to create a supportive workplace culture.
  • Emphasise continuous learning: Highlight training programs, certifications, and conferences for professional development.

In addition to implementing these five tips to acquire new tech talent, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of market trends. Our comprehensive market trends article provides the latest insight and data on the tech hiring landscape, providing valuable information to help you stay ahead in the competitive market, gain a deeper understanding of the current demand for digital and tech skill-sets, the impact of recent job losses, and the shifting dynamics in different regions.