How your bank can address America’s worst cybersecurity fears

Consumers are inundated with troubling cybersecurity news, on a daily basis. They are weary, to say the least.

How can financial institutions help restore their peace of mind? To find out, CSI polled more than 2,000 American consumers about the cybersecurity threats and challenges surrounding them and their financial institutions. The result? Consumers (unsurprisingly) want to know how to better protect themselves, and are open to their bank showing them how. Almost three-fourths (74 %) said that they would likely participate in a cybersecurity awareness program if it was offered by their financial institution.

This insight presents banks with an inexpensive opportunity to increase their value and retain more customers.

If You Host It, They Will Come

If your institutions hosts a cybersecurity awareness program, customers are likely to attend. Doing so creates a win-win for consumers and your institution.

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Bolster your institution’s reputation as an active corporate citizen.
  • Increase the potential for new business as you share your knowledge.
  • Create more cyber-aware customers able to thwart malicious cyberactivity.
  • Reduce your own risk from cybercrime as a result.

Keys to a Successful Event

To really capitalize on this opportunity, be deliberate in your planning:

  • Create a guest list: Include your existing customers, but don’t stop there. Cement your status as a local hero by inviting the community at large.
  • Save the date: The bad guys aren’t waiting, so don’t procrastinate. Host your event as soon as you can properly plan for it.
  • Don’t stop at one: Reach a broadest audience by hosting several sessions conveniently scheduled for various demographics, i.e., mornings for senior citizens and stay-at-home parents, evenings or weekends for working adults.
  • Location, location, location: Select a venue conducive to a group meeting and one that projects a professional and credible atmosphere.
  • Pick a partner: Pairing up with your local chamber of commerce, an area civic organization or academic institution is a great way to reach the community.
  • Give more than advice: Everyone loves free stuff. This is a great opportunity to hand out bank-branded items like pens, mugs, etc. You could also give away a more valuable door prize.
  • Bring in the experts: Technology can be a dry and complicated topic, so pick a speaker with the cybersecurity chops to motivate them to heed the advice.

The Makings of a Useful Message

Beyond the logistical details, ensure you craft an informative message, including these topics:

  • Practicing good cyber hygiene.
  • Protecting Online Footprints.
  • Responding to a data breach.
  • Dealing with identity theft.

More Insight from CSI’s Consumer Cybersecurity Poll

Consumer receptivity to a bank-sponsored cybersecurity education program is just one of the takeaways from our survey. Download CSI’s 2019 Consumer Cybersecurity Poll Executive Report to gain valuable insight about consumers’ thoughts surrounding cybersecurity.

Steve Sanders is vice president of Internal Audit for CSI. In his role, he oversees the evaluation and mitigation of risks associated with IT, financial and operational systems. Steve is a CISA, CRISC, CRMA, and CTGA, and he speaks regularly on information security, cybersecurity, IT and IT audit topics.