Ask any customer what they expect from their bank or financial services firm today, and two words come through loudly and clearly: security and privacy. Commercial and institutional customers have come to expect seamless service, properly cleared transactions and fast, accurate information. But news about major cybersecurity breaches has alarmed consumers, causing banks to redouble their efforts to protect their technology infrastructure. This means the stakes have never been higher for banks and financial services firms, and there are clear trends for cyber risk and security protection in the financial services industry in 2013, according to the experts at Booz Allen Hamilton. “When we think about the lethal daily threats to the globally integrated financial services industry from nation-states and individuals, it is imperative that Chief Information Security Officers begin looking around corners, talk with each other and better prioritize the real threats to their firms,” said Mike McConnell, Booz Allen vice chairman and former Director of National Intelligence. “Self-evaluation and industry-wide conversations are the new ‘rules of the road’ to creating successful, integrated cyber defenses. The CISO can really drive organization-wide change while still championing efficiency and customer service.” McConnell is speaking today at Bloomberg’s Enterprise Risk Conference ( more information) where he will discuss the financial services industry’s responses to state-based and state-sponsored cyber attacks. He added, “There are many cyber trends – including the sophistication and lethality of the attacks – that the financial industry should be aware of. Even though it is difficult to look into a crystal ball and predict the future, these events are happening now and could cause significant reputational, financial and infrastructure damage to any ill-prepared firm. Individual companies should not wait for legislation or an Executive Order to come together with their government counterparts to find dynamic solutions to these big issues.” Booz Allen works with financial services firms to identify and benchmark best practices and challenges for long-term cybersecurity prevention and protection. This process is part of Booz Allen’s Cyber M3 (Measure, Manage, Mature) capability, which evaluates the maturity of a firm’s cybersecurity programs. Both Cyber M3 and the benchmarking program incorporate technology, business process engineering, human capital development and risk management in developing a comprehensive picture of a firm’s and industry’s cyber readiness.