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Securing Confidential Data

Adopting a comprehensive risk management approach, internally and across the supply chain, is mission critical for financial institutions

In today's financial services marketplace, increasingly sophisticated and often well-publicized security breaches related to consumer data, as well as heightened regulatory oversight and compliance requirements, highlight the need for banks and credit unions to develop and maintain a comprehensive risk management approach.

Two fundamental components of that approach are a viable internal security program and a solid vendor awareness and risk management process. According to Joe Filer, assistant vice president of security compliance at Harland Clarke, the latter is key, because account holders who entrust their confidential data to a bank or credit union will likely have a laser-like focus when it comes to responsibility for a breach. "The financial institution will be held responsible for a data breach, regardless of where it occurs in the supply chain or why it happens," says Filer. And that can have a potentially negative impact not only on an institution's relationships with account holders and vendors, but also on its bottom line.

To help protect confidential data throughout the supply chain, Filer recommends paying attention to details and looking for the following in third-party vendors:

For information about how Harland Clarke can help your financial institution protect account holder data, contact your account executive or visit