Industry Opinions: The Real Costs of Compliance

Over the past several months our team has been meeting with COO’s and CIO’s from various banks, credit unions, and financial firms. The focus of these meetings has been centered around understanding the core issues they face protecting their customers’ data, what initiatives they are working on, and how audits impact their core business.

What has become clear is that many small to mid-sized organizations are overloaded with increasingly complex audit requirements while combating real threats. Our discussions revealed that resources are often double, if not triple tasked year round. With IT in particular, organizations are spending anywhere from 40-60% of their budgets on compliance related activities.

blogger-image-657638512This doesn’t even include the intangible costs, such as lost productivity and additional stress on staff who come in on weekends to meet deadlines during the audit process. These aren’t large organizations, so it is expected to see employees wearing multiple hats. Don’t get me wrong, similar cases are found in larger organizations, but the impact on operational objectives just isn’t the same.

I want to make it clear, there was not a single person we spent time with that was complaining. In fact, far from it. They want to do more for their customers. If they had more time and resources available they would put them to good use. These organizations take quite a bit of pride in delivering services on-par or better than the bigger institutions. You can hear it in the way they tell their story.

This commitment and hands on approach is part of what attracts people to community banks and credit unions. Customers appreciate the familiar face behind the counter as well as the local lending mindset. It reminds me of the dynamic you find in the “farm to table” restaurant scene. A small group of passionate people, delivering a high quality customer experience, with a focus on community.

In this market, the CxO, SVP, and IT professionals are all putting in the long hours because they get it. The impact of a security breach or failed audit carries a heavy weight in the community banking world. There are no acceptable losses. They cannot risk being on the front page of a local paper.

It is stories like these that help our team build a better Dunbar Digital Armor. Our mission is to be a security partner that works for organizations both big and small. We focus on bringing together simple and effective security solutions that allow our clients to focus on their core business, reduce costs and simplify the compliance process.