There's no bail out for this banking industry problem
The finance sector is in agreement: there’s a major global threat to the success of the banking and finance industry, one that ignores boom and bust cycles, doesn’t care about stock market fluctuations and wouldn't bat an eyelid if interest rates suddenly jumped ten points.
But this threat is also an essential and highly successful ingredient in the revival of the finance industry’s fortunes.
What is this unwitting, non-malicious threat? It’s your mobile-tech carrying employees themselves.
You’ve heard of Generation X (you might be one yourself), Generation Y (you probably employ a few of these), and Generation Z (the Internet’s digital natives), but there’s another category to add to the list: #GenMobile.
Brought up in a world where mobile devices are an integral part of everyday life, #GenMobile is defined by a productivity-focused attitude that finds it as easy to share a status update as it does a password or mobile device with a colleague. And this is why your #GenMobile workforce is both an asset and a threat to your business.
To identify the true nature of this new type of employee, Aruba Networks surveyed 11,500 workers in 23 countries, asking them detailed questions about their work, their approach to data and their take on corporate and personal security in a technological landscape dominated by mobile devices.
Who are they?
#GenMobile are generally young (18-35), highly effective and mostly indifferent to computer security. Given the finance sector’s risk-averse take on data security, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the idea of a ‘threat’ from your own highly trained staff. But with an alarming four out of every ten finance organisations admitting to having lost data through the misuse of a mobile device (25 percent higher than other industries), you might want to read on .
Ok, so what are they doing?
#GenMobile, as the name suggests, are 100 percent comfortable with mobility, flexible working and using multiple mobile devices to get the job done. #GenMobile will stop at nothing to get their work tasks completed, and 51 percent say that mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged at work.
This fervent need to get things done means 56 percent will disobey their managers to get complete a task — while three-quarters are happy to take IT issues into their own hands without getting in touch with their IT department.
Sharing is also a risk factor, as 60 percent of respondents reported being happy to let others use their work mobile devices at least once a month, while a fifth don’t have passwords on their mobile devices at all, in part to make sharing easier. You won’t be surprised that security only limps into the top five of office tech concerns for #GenMobile.
Five tips to turn a threat into a safe bet
So what do you do? Lockdown all mobile devices? Implement a highly restrictive password policy? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet — this new generation is already contributing to the overall health of the finance sector. They bring big-thinking creativity, better collaboration and new ways of doing things; priceless in an era when consumer behaviour is changing at an incredible speed. Yet the impact of a security breach is both seismic and often irreparable.
Here’s five ways to make sure your organisation is prepared for #GenMobile:
1) Over a third of businesses don’t have a basic mobile security policy in place. Make sure you have a policy covering roles, devices, locations and other contextual attributes.
2) Create enforcement rules that extend from applications to devices to the network.
3) Make sure your security measures and policies map back to your organisation’s business objectives.
4) Training is vital: all staff should have needs-assessed training to help them understand why policies are in place and how they can help.
5) Take heed of feedback — it may improve your IT workflows and performance.
Chris Kozup is VP Marketing, Aruba Networks: If you’re a finance sector organisation that is unsure where the risks to your network security lie, then this quick and easy risk assessment tool from Aruba Networks will uncover exactly where you need to focus your efforts.
UK office space slashed as hybrid working looks set to stay
With hybrid predicted to be the working model of the future, and businesses both large and small announcing that WFH will continue for employees into the future, the traditional office space is being re-thought.
Businesses are both questioning how much space they need for a hybrid working future, especially if it means they can potentially save money, and what form that space should take.
UK firms slashing office space
Back as early as February, HSBC – whose real estate footprint currently stretches to around 112 football pitches worldwide – said it would be cutting its post-COVID office space by half globally and by 40% in London over the next few years, as it looks to implementation of a hybrid working model in light of the pandemic.
Lloyds Bank followed suit. Following an internal survey where 77% of employees said they wanted to continue to work for 3+ days a week post-pandemic, the bank announced it was also moving to a hybrid model, and so looking to cut its office space by 20% over the next two years.
In fact, the latest research from consulting firm PwC reveals that a third of organisations surveyed (258 of the UK’s largest companies) believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.
The findings of PwC’s Occupier Survey indicate there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space with half of executives surveyed saying that despite taking into account mass vaccinations, employees will continue to work virtually 2-3 days a week.
And companies continue to announce the hybrid working model for their employees. Accountancy firm EY has just announced that its 17,000 employees are moving to a hybrid way of working, WFH for at least two days a week. This follows PwC which in March said workers could stay at home for half the time and KPMG which this month said it would expect employees to only work two days in the office every week.
More collaborative work spaces
However, what’s also clear from PwC’s research is that the role of the office is not going to disappear completely, but instead adapt to a new way of working, with half of all organisations with more than 100 employees saying they have a real estate and workplace strategy that considers the long-term impact of COVID-19.
“We may see an increased demand for flexible space as many businesses operating models may well need that option if holding dead space is to be avoided,” says Angus Johnson, UK Real Estate Leader at PwC UK.
According to the survey, more than three quarters of respondents said they are likely to reconfigure existing office with 43% of financial services firms stating that they are extremely likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s also clear that the nature and purpose of office space is going to change. As occupiers seek new, different space to meet their accommodation needs, environmental aspects will be increasingly important. If the real estate sector is to truly succeed as a more dynamic, greener industry it’s imperative that creative thinking comes to the fore.”
And companies are already thinking creatively how they can utilise office space in a hybrid future. So while HSBC is cutting a significant amount of office space, it is not downsizing its prestigious Canary Wharf headquarters, and instead reimagining the space. In April, CEO Noel Quinn announced the firm was embracing an open plan floor, with no designated desks or private offices, and instead using hot-desks in line with the future hybrid working style. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor of the building in east London with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.
Lloyds also reported it was adapting its office space, so that rather than individual offices, it will have a more collaborative workspace. And just last month, KPMG announced it too was ditching desks and individual offices, and replacing them with meeting rooms and conference halls for a more collaborative workspace.