global cyber conference interview

In this interview, Christian sheds light on the most prevalent security challenges for financial organizations and the biggest barrier for companies in the fight against ransomware.

Christian Ulmer, Global CISO of Avaloq, a leading provider of banking software and services, enabling financial institutions to manage clients’ wealth, was a Global Cyber Conference 2022 speaker in the Track session entitled “How can the banking sector benefit from cyber security automation”.

Financial institutions are leading targets of cyber-attacks. What are the top 3 security challenges for financial institutions such as banks and fintech companies? 

Personally, I would list the following main challenges and they are not only related to security: complexity, reduced window of opportunity, and distribution of data. Today’s landscapes are extremely complex and interconnected and it is difficult to maintain a comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date way. 

Furthermore, the time to apply fixes, patches, or digital vaccinations for public vulnerabilities has drastically reduced in the past years to only a few hours, sometimes even minutes, and modern security programs need to take this into consideration. Lastly, the distribution of data across systems, devices, and networks makes it indispensable that protection has to travel with the data.

What do you consider to be the biggest hurdle for organizations in the fight against ransomware? 

A holistic view of the resilience of the organization is key: with a successful ransomware case, existing preventative controls were bypassed, hence the ability to stop the movement of the ransomware as well as the availability of backups and restore speed are key. 

Prerequisites like the availability of backups, ongoing restore tests, and a prioritized list of restore objects are of utmost importance. And – don’t be afraid to tread unusual paths. 

Lastly, what are your initial thoughts on the Global Cyber Conference’s key themes, and how strategic are those themes? 

Well-selected – this was the initial thought when reading about the key themes. The 3 topics summarize the most present challenges of today’s world nicely and they are so closely interconnected. 

Secure banking is significantly driving the digital transformation. Technology can only resolve some of the issues on the journey, especially in terms of security. Putting the human into the center of the activities will accelerate the transformation to a successful result.