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Top 4 benefits of bundled information security and IT compliance services

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS INSIGHTS  | 

Two things are certain in the current environment for credit unions and banks; regulatory demands will continue to expand, and information risks will evolve and pose new threats. With pressure mounting, managing these concerns, while also focusing on growth is becoming more difficult. Many institutions simply do not have access to new technology to address emerging threats, and attracting and retaining qualified talent is an ongoing concern.

With these challenges in mind, many institutions turn to third parties to manage their information security and information technology (IT) needs. Bundling services to address the full scope of your security and compliance demands helps address regulatory challenges, while also developing a strategy to protect your assets. Transitioning to such a platform provides several advantages, depending on the goals and structure of your institution. However, several common benefits are realized by bundling services, including:       

Keeping up with regulatory requirements: As you know, the regulatory landscape is constantly shifting, and it is hard to manage your compliance demands, while also focusing on day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, many community banks and credit unions are usually short-staffed, with employees wearing multiple hats, making it difficult to give regulatory matters the attention they require. Outsourcing some or all of your compliance tasks takes pressure off of internal personnel and provides more coverage with a larger pool of experienced resources.

Integrating new technology trends and best practices: Technology moves fast, and it is difficult to know what innovations will fit best with the needs of your institution. In many cases, internal personnel have a wealth of knowledge about existing platforms; however, they are not regularly exposed to potential solutions available with new technology. Working with a trusted advisor can help ensure that you have the right technology and information security systems in place to meet or exceed compliance guidelines and increase overall efficiency. 

Helping comply with vendor management regulations: The OCC recently released new guidance to detail the vendor management life cycle and outlining new steps institutions must follow. The biggest change is within the due diligence phase, to ensure institutions are adequately reviewing and evaluating areas such as financials before they bring a new vendor onboard. The guidance also aims to assist and help banks and credit unions establish annual or biannual reviews to determine whether vendors are capable of supporting the institution in their contracted capacity. The guidelines are complex, and institutions require someone that truly understands the necessary processes. Unfortunately, those skills are rarely found in-house, with employees filling multiple roles and responsibilities.

Improving overall information security and IT risk management processes: With threats seemingly around every corner, every institution is concerned with the safety of data and customer information and making sure proper policies and procedures are in place. One particular threat that is becoming more prevalent is the lack of disaster recovery planning. Institutions must be prepared and have contingency plans for data and reducing downtime, regardless of the nature of a disaster. In addition, from a compliance perspective, you must ensure that your processes are in line with the expectations of regulators. Dropping a rating with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can have significant consequences, as insurance premiums and fees will increase and reputational damage often follows.

Meeting evolving compliance demands while protecting your institution against information risks is a daunting task. Bundling solutions with an experienced service provider allows for alignment of your institution's strategic vision and goals with information security and IT regulatory requirements. Compliance and security are critical challenges to your institution; if you are not confident in your processes, or find they are not delivering their expected value, it may be time to consider a third-party solution.

Learn more about McGladrey TR ConnectSM, McGladrey's bundled information security and compliance services platform.