For banks, digital transformation begins with a better customer experience. This was a herculean feat before the advent of privacy-focused legislation like the GDPR. Before it was revealed in 2018 that Facebook had allowed consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to abuse the data of millions of users – a chilling reminder of why people should care about their privacy.
Even now, several years after the GDPR officially came into effect, the market and its legislation continue to evolve. Today, it’s more important than ever that financial services organizations protect both data integrity and user privacy. Critical areas of focus include:
- How all customer data is collected and processed.
- How a firm’s business partners and third-party vendors use customer data, and what data they have access to.
- How and where customer data is encrypted and stored.
- How the concept of Privacy by Design must be applied to both backend and consumer-facing applications.
The end result is a legal and regulatory quagmire complex enough to bring an institution’s digital transformation efforts to a screeching halt.
Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) Head of Technology Patrice Hervé understands this well. At 46 years old, the French national has over two decades of experience helping banks secure some of the most highly sensitive data in the world. He’s witnessed the full spectrum of security struggles and privacy pitfalls and understands precisely how to address them.
Situated on a small island in the Indian Ocean, MCB provides services such as wealth management, private banking, corporate banking, small business banking, and investment advice to over a million customers.
“In addition to the strict cybersecurity laws to which the financial services sector is typically beholden, MCB must also adhere to a set of GDPR-like regulations that were instituted across our region in 2018,” explains Hervé. “This requires not only the right processes, but also the right tools. When I joined MCB as the Head of Information Technology four years ago, it lacked both.”
“There was no unified mobile security strategy,” he continues. “The bank’s existing endpoint management system at the time simply didn’t provide us with the needed functionality. As a result, even the bank’s leadership, its top executives, were communicating and collaborating on unmanaged, potentially insecure devices.”
Such a lax approach had the potential to not only compromise critical systems, but also to put both employee and customer data at risk. Hervé immediately issued a Request for Proposal so that MCB could take the first step in addressing the problem. After evaluating multiple leaders in the endpoint management space, MCB chose the BlackBerry Spark® Unified Endpoint Management Suite.
“BlackBerry software may cost slightly more than the competition, but the investment is more than worth it,” Hervé explains. “It’s secure, it’s easy to deploy, and BlackBerry business apps are easy to use and understand. We have a secure platform for document sharing and collaboration, and a powerful foundation for our own digital transformation journey.”
“That sort of secure foundation – one which allows you to protect both private data and financial data – is absolutely critical,” he continues. “It’s one of the reasons our organization has always invested heavily in cybersecurity. We recognize that if we’re to truly be the bank of the future, we need to first be future-proof.”
“We need to be ready to adjust to new legislation around privacy and financial data as quickly as possible,” he concludes. “This is something every organization that works with sensitive data should aim for.”