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Every year, Cisco conducts the Security Outcomes Study (SOS), a fully anonymous survey of over 4,800 active IT, security, and privacy professionals from around the world. Questions are posed around what areas of IT each organization is prioritizing, where they are being successful, and areas of improvement. A plethora of data is collected and then Cisco publishes the annual SOS detailing the analysis. This year, Cisco took it a step further, building out not only the main Security Outcomes Study but also creating regional reports and two industry-specific analyses – Financial Services is one of the chosen verticals.

Of the 4,800 participants in the larger study, 589 represented firms in the financial services sector. The respondents were quizzed about their organization’s level of success across eleven high-level security outcomes organized under three main objectives: Enabling the Business, Managing Risk, and Operating Efficiently. It was discovered that financial services firms are more successful than average firms at meeting compliance, gaining executive confidence, and avoiding major incidents, but less successful than average at minimizing unplanned work and obtaining peer buy-in. As a systemically important and regulated industry, financial services are more likely to have security wrapped around all aspects of its business than the average respondent. This is reflected in the correlation of security practices to top risks, the importance of executive awareness, and the development of a firm-wide security culture. Institutions continually seek intuitive solutions that provide advanced security intelligence and enable nimbler security operations teams. The goal is to lower cyber operational risk while increasing the business flexibility of the institution.

To learn about these correlations and discover many more, read the Security Outcomes Financial Services Report to discover the latest security trends in the financial services industry. Then check out our SOS site to take a look at the full study, regional reports, and more to discover how the financial services industry compares to the average respondent.

This blog was originally written by Heidi Surdyk for Cisco Blogs.