• Visual Data Security In The Financial Services Sector - Explained

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    • As more and more devices are utilised throughout the financial sector to access confidential information in non-secure locations such as open-plan offices, banking halls, local branches and by executives working on the move – on-screen content can be easily viewed by someone unauthorised sitting next to, or simply passing by, a device. For these reasons it has become more important than ever for financial institutions to ensure their confidential onscreen customer and company data is secure.

       

      Data security in the financial services sector is a growing issue and with potential fines and the affect on share prices for data breaches and failure to adequately protect customer data running into millions of pounds, it’s important to be fully aware of the potential threats to visual data security and ensure all devices are adequately protected.

       

      Open plan offices and hot desking environments are more common than ever, whilst they promote communication and information flow, high traffic environments such as this pose some serious visual data security risks. It’s easy for an unauthorised individual to walk past a desk or look over a shoulder to catch a quick glance at confidential on screen data. The FCA also highlights the increasing threat of sophisticated mobile phone technology. In busy areas like a bank, trading floor or office, the potential for someone to take a picture of confidential customer data which is displayed on a screen is greater than ever.

      The recent boom in mobile working means executives are more susceptible to the threat of shoulder surfing when on the move. Coffee shops, train stations and airports are full of businessmen and women working on laptops allowing causal passersby and data thieves’ ample opportunity to sneak a peek at onscreen information. A 2007 study by 3M found that there was an 80% chance that mobile workers had been the victims of others reading over their shoulders.

      In recent years there has been a sharp increase in roll outs of tablet devices in the financial sector, including the growing adoption of Bring Your Own Device policies. Tablets and smart phones are an easy target for shoulder surfers – RBS and Natwest have recognised this threat and recommend the use of privacy screens to all customers to combat the threat of shoulder surfing.

      3M’s range of privacy filters and privacy screen protectors protect laptops, desktops and mobile devices from shoulder surfers by blocking the view of the screen to all but the device user, limiting the potential for costly data breaches and aiding compliance to FCA guidelines on data security.