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Financial institutions are at the forefront of cybersecurity protection, tasked with protecting sensitive data and assets from bad actors in a constantly changing threat landscape. Against this backdrop, WWT & SentinelOne came together at FS-ISAC in San Diego. "Thriving Together in a Dynamic World," the summit's overarching theme, offered an appropriate framework for talks that emphasized the interdependence of cybersecurity issues and the teamwork needed to traverse an ever-complex threat landscape.

Important conversations revolved around three main themes that are shaping the industry's reaction to new threats: software supply chain, artificial intelligence security, and cyber resilience. The exclusive fireside chat sessions with notable cybersecurity experts, such as Mario Balakgie, WWT's Global Field CISO and well-known authority on cybersecurity and risk management, and Chris Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and current president of SentinelOne's PinnacleOne Strategic Advisory Group, were a highlight. These discussions gave WWT's financial clients a special chance to gain insights, share viewpoints, and develop proactive strategies with the help of prominent figures in the field.

They explored the cutting-edge solutions and practical issues that will shape cybersecurity in the future, from overcoming the difficulties of cyber resiliency to utilizing AI to strengthen defenses. In this piece, we explore the most important lessons learned from WWT's visit to FS-ISAC San Diego, illuminating the crucial needs influencing cybersecurity agendas across all sectors. Considering the summit's theme, we talk about how working together, coming up with new ideas, and sharing our knowledge are important for thriving in a world that is becoming more dynamic and linked, but also full of digital risks and unknowns.

Key takeaways from WWT's Kate Kuehn

Reflecting on FS-ISAC, for me, spending time listening to the dialogue between members and our own World Wide Technology Global Field CISO, Mario Balakgie and Chris Krebs was a huge highlight. Their conversations seemed to focus on a few key points we should all be paying closer attention to:

Kate Kuehn - Global Head of Cyber Advocacy 
  1. There are still several questions regarding how organizations will implement AI adoption. Some are all in, and some are blocking as much as possible. We need stronger leadership and best-practice guidance in this space.
  2. Threat actors will continue to go after low-hanging fruit. MFA does not always work, Phishing is getting even more sophisticated, and visibility and tech debt are still massive issues. Solid hygiene should still be a North Star and remember that financial gain is still the #1 motivation for attack. Understanding who you may be appealing to, both up and down stream is something we should all keep in mind.
  3. The geopolitical situation will have implications for all organizations. Keeping a mindful eye on the changing landscape, new alerts, and the spread of disinformation- especially with the quick rise of AI, has the potential to dramatically change the threat landscape. The result? Reputational and operational risk will be even more in the spotlight.
  4. Lastly, public/private partnerships need to be even stronger than ever. Partnership, given the increased focus on critical national Infrastructure, new regulatory pressures, and AI adoption/ Risk will be critical as we look to understand the current and future cyber landscape.

It was amazing to spend time listening to two incredible leaders engage on these topics.

AI security is top of mind

Todd Hathaway - AI & Emerging Cybersecurity

As a member of WWT's AI Security team, it was a timely opportunity to be a part of the meetings between our financial services customers and both Chris and Mario.  This year's FS-ISAC Spring theme of "Thriving Together in a Dynamic World" is fitting, with emphasis on Together and Dynamic.  As we experience the AI revolution within financial services, security, all together becomes an imperative for our financial institutions, and the rapid evolution of AI advancements represents the most dynamic period of technology innovation that our industry has ever seen before.

As most security and risk executives can expect in 2024, AI security opportunities and risks are a top concern for financial institutions. 

Balancing AI opportunities and risk

AI is a transformative technology for the financial services industry, offering new ways to enhance efficiency, customer service, and decision-making such as:

  • Fraud prevention: Banks can analyze real-time patterns to indicate fraudulent activity quicker than traditional methods.
  • Efficiency: AI algorithms can process vast amounts of data to assess credit risk, analyze market data for trading decisions and streamline operations.
  • Customer service: AI enables round-the-clock virtual assistants and personalized banking.
  • Compliance: AI systems can sift through massive data sets to identify potential non-compliance issues.

While AI is transforming the industry in many ways, it also introduces new risks to the institutions and firms must act quickly and collaboratively to mitigate the security risks introduced with the adoption of AI.  To do so effectively, it is imperative that banks adopt a comprehensive and proactive approach that can include:

  • Establishing a clear governance structure for AI deployment, incorporating security features at the initial stages.
  • Conducting regular security audits of AI systems to detect vulnerabilities and ensure compliance.
  • Developing an incident response plan tailored for AI-specific security incidents
  • Utilizing AI-driven security solutions to enhance threat detection and response.
  • Training employees on AI risks and security best practices.
  • Collaborating outside your organization to benefit from external expertise and insights.

By addressing AI security proactively and collaboratively with security peers and industry experts, banks can safeguard against a broad spectrum of risks, ensuring the trust of customers and maintaining the integrity of the financial system. In this unprecedented and dynamic transformation of the industry, you can confidently look to WWT for partnership and let's secure AI, all together!