Cloud Security  

FINMA: Managing cyber risks in the financial services industry

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In today’s digital era, the financial services industry is increasingly reliant on technology and connectivity. While this brings numerous advantages, it also exposes banks to new and evolving cyber threats.

For banks operating in Switzerland, adhering to the strict regulatory standards set by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is not only a legal requirement but also essential for maintaining the trust of customers and safeguarding sensitive financial information.

We will explore the challenges faced by Swiss banks in achieving and maintaining FINMA accreditation, the vital role of cyber security in this process, and how CloudGuard, a trusted Microsoft cyber security partner, can help banks navigate these challenges successfully.

Challenges in achieving FINMA accreditation

Obtaining and retaining FINMA accreditation is a rigorous process that demands meticulous attention to detail and a robust security framework. Swiss banks face several challenges along the way, including:

  • Evolving cyber threat landscape: Cyber threats continue to evolve rapidly, becoming more sophisticated and complex. Swiss banks need to stay ahead of these threats and continually update their security measures to meet FINMA’s stringent requirements.
  • Compliance and regulatory complexity: Complying with the extensive regulatory framework established by FINMA is a complex undertaking. Banks must navigate a myriad of regulations, guidelines, and best practices to ensure their operations align with FINMA’s expectations.
  • Data protection and privacy: Safeguarding customer data is of utmost importance for Swiss banks. Adhering to strict data protection and privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is vital for maintaining the trust of customers and avoiding penalties.
  • Insider threats and internal controls: Ensuring robust internal controls to mitigate insider threats is a critical aspect of FINMA accreditation. Banks must establish strict access controls, implement comprehensive security awareness training programs, and monitor employee activities to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

FINMA has increased the intensity of their supervision over the industry’s security practices, labelling Cyber Security as the most significant operational risk for financial institutions.

The role of cyber security in maintaining FINMA accreditation

Cyber security plays a pivotal role in helping Swiss banks achieve and maintain FINMA accreditation. By partnering with CloudGuard, banks gain access to cutting-edge security solutions and expertise to address these challenges effectively:

  • Advanced threat detection and prevention: CloudGuard leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and prevent advanced cyber threats. The proactive approach helps banks identify potential risks, mitigate attacks, and prevent data breaches.
  • Robust compliance management: CloudGuard provides comprehensive solutions to help banks streamline compliance management. The comprehensive tools and frameworks designed specifically to address FINMA requirements ensure banks have a well-documented and auditable security posture.
  • Data protection and privacy solutions: CloudGuard offers advanced data protection and privacy solutions to help banks secure customer data and adhere to regulatory requirements. From encryption and access controls to data loss prevention, CloudGuard ensures that sensitive information remains confidential and protected.
  • Insider threat detection and mitigation: CloudGuard’s solutions include robust insider threat detection and mitigation capabilities. By monitoring user behaviour, CloudGuard helps banks identify suspicious activities proactively, prevent internal data breaches, and enforce strong access controls.

CloudGuard’s industry experience

CloudGuard recently partnered with radicant bank ag (radicant), the first digital sustainability bank in Switzerland. As partners, we bring an unmatched level of expertise, catering for radicant’s demanding level of protection through a combination of human and machine intelligence. Christine Fahlbery, radicant’s CISO commented “I am impressed by the expertise and customization of CloudGuard’s solution and services.” Read the full partnership press release.

CloudGuard understands the critical importance of maintaining FINMA accreditation and securing the sensitive information of Swiss banks and other highly regulated Financial Service organisations. With our proven track record, we are confident in our ability to help these organisations overcome their cyber security challenges.

What can banks achieve by partnering with CloudGuard?

  • Strengthen their security posture: Leverage our advanced threat detection, threat intelligence and prevention technologies to proactively identify and mitigate cyber threats, ensuring robust protection against evolving risks.
  • Streamline compliance management: Utilise our comprehensive assessment services to simplify the process of adhering to FINMA regulations and demonstrate a well-documented security posture.
  • Safeguard customer data: Benefit from our data protection and privacy solutions, including encryption, access controls, and data loss prevention, to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive financial information.
  • Mitigate insider threats: Leverage our insider threat detection and mitigation capabilities to monitor employee activities, identify potential risks, and enforce strong access controls to prevent internal data breaches.

Key takeaway

Maintaining FINMA accreditation is a top priority for Swiss banks, and robust cyber security measures are essential in meeting the stringent requirements set by FINMA. With CloudGuard, banks can access cutting-edge security solutions and expertise to address the challenges posed by cyber threats and regulatory compliance.

Contact CloudGuard today to learn more about our tailored cyber security solutions for the financial services industry or book a demo with our experts.

Javid Khan12. May 2023
Partnership Announcement

CloudGuard has partnered with Recorded Future to provide our clients with exceptional intelligence solutions

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As the threat landscape continues to accelerate and evolve, CloudGuard is constantly looking for innovative ways to enhance our security services and better protect our customers’ environments. That’s why we’re excited to announce our partnership with Recorded Future, the world’s largest intelligence provider.

Through this partnership, CloudGuard’s customers can access Recorded Future’s unique threat intelligence feeds and alerts, providing them with real-time insights that can help them detect and respond to potential security threats faster. The feeds and alerts are seamlessly integrated into Microsoft Sentinel to enhance contextualisation and prioritisation of security threats, allowing our Guardians to focus their attention on defending the most critical threats.


Conor Mallon, Head of Operations at CloudGuard, spoke about the partnership and what it means for our customers.


“At CloudGuard, our top priority is ensuring our customers have the best possible security services to protect what matters most to them. Our partnership with Recorded Future allows us to leverage their cutting-edge technology to provide our customers with even more comprehensive security services.”


Conor went on to explain that CloudGuard is excited to work with Recorded Future to build a service that challenges the status quo of threat intelligence and security services.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Recorded Future and bring their innovative threat intelligence capabilities to our customers. By combining our next-generation platform and disruptive technologies, we can provide our customers with actionable intelligence, and the confidence that we can accelerate, automate and amplify their security.

The CloudGuard and Recorded Future partnership is a testament to CloudGuard’s commitment to providing its customers with the best possible security services. By partnering with innovative providers like Recorded Future, we can continue to evolve and stay ahead of the curve, delivering cutting-edge security services that meet the ever-changing needs of businesses and ensures they are more secure and better protected against cyber threats.

Javid Khan22. Mar 2023
Partnership Announcement

Radicant relies on CloudGuard’s expertise for the protection of customer data

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Zurich, 28th March 2023 – radicant bank ag (radicant) is the first digital sustainability bank in Switzerland strategically aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It relies on CloudGuard’s AI-driven cyber security platform and ThreatOps expertise to help make protecting customer data easier, faster, and more effective by proactively preventing threats in real-time.

The integrity of client data and the resilience of operations against a growing number of cyber threats are key for today’s banking industry. For radicant, client data is the most valuable asset, which makes the choice of a suitable security provider essential. With CloudGuard, radicant has found a partner with an unmatched level of expertise, catering for radicant’s demanding level of protection through a combination of human and machine intelligence.

CloudGuard helps companies to understand their risk posture and automatically determine the optimal security stance to operate safely in a volatile world of growing threats. Its platform uses powerful AI and automation to proactively prevent, detect and remediate threats in real time, helping radicant and their customers optimise their security posture while reducing complexity. At the same time, CloudGuard has some of the best ThreatOps experts in the world that are dedicated to building out a sophisticated library of threat-intelligence automation systems to ensure that radicant’s business is always defended.

“I am impressed by the expertise and customization of CloudGuard’s solution and services. As digital sustainability bank, we at radicant are breaking new ground and focusing on innovative solutions. With CloudGuard, we have a strong partner at our side who follows this mindset with the appropriate tools and specialists in the information security area”

says Christine Fahlberg, CISO at radicant.

“We are delighted to be partnering with radicant to help them protect their customer data. As the number of threat actors and vectors grows, protecting customer data is foundational to business success,” explains Javid Khan, Co-founder and CTO of CloudGuard. “We’re excited to be able to help radicant ease the burden of their security complexity leveraging their secure Google Cloud while using our AI-driven XDR platform to proactively prevent and respond to threats to their data security,”

Says Javid Khan, CTO at CloudGuard


About radicant

radicant bank ag (radicant) is a data- and technology-driven start-up with the goal of democratising access to personalised and sustainable financial services around the clock. The fintech company will promote the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the market with its community and financial services, as well as by establishing those goals within its company. Through increased transparency, the bank will help its customers to achieve their individual financial and sustainability goals. radicant is currently in the start-up phase and received its banking license from FINMA in May 2022.

About CloudGuard

CloudGuard is a next-generation cybersecurity platform that uses a combination of AI and human intelligence to proactively hunt and remediate threats across on premise and public cloud platforms. CloudGuard’s disruptive approach combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation to provide a modern, intelligent security operations centre (SOC) based on proactivity, prevention, and real-time responsiveness.

Javid Khan13. Mar 2023
Corporate Blog

AI Threat Intelligence: No longer something of the future

Machine Learning As Our First Line Of Digital Defense 

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to evaluate data and learn its meaning. The goal of combining machine learning and threat intelligence is to encourage users to find vulnerabilities faster than humans can and stop them before they cause more damage. Furthermore, conventional detection technologies invariably generate too many false-positive results due to a large number of security threats.

Machine learning can reduce the number of false positives by analyzing threat intelligence and condensing it into a smaller subset of features to watch for.

According to a global advanced threat intelligence consultant, artificial intelligence is becoming more important in deterring, detecting, and resolving cyber-threats as the evolution of attacks adapts and adversaries function in well-organized, highly skilled organizations.

The Security Threat Of Today Has Become An Industry Of Its Own

Many of today’s adversaries operate in large networks, relying on a “crime-as-a-service” business model that involves hundreds of people disseminating threats for a commission. Threat actors are using automation as a weapon to extend their reach. As a result, having A.I.-enabled structures in place to sift through massive amounts of security threats and react promptly becomes even more critical.

Machine learning-based AI threat intelligence products work by taking inputs, evaluating them, and generating results. Machine learning’s inputs for detection systems include threat intelligence, and its outputs are either alerts implying attacks or computerized actions that stop attacks. If the threat intelligence contains errors, it will provide “bad” details to the attack tracking tools, resulting in “bad” outputs from the tools’ machine learning techniques.

The Magic Of AI Threat Intelligence

There’s too much data and not enough time. Because of this, as well as the high cost of labor, machines have been at the frontline of cyber defense for nearly 50 years. It’s also why cybersecurity providers and consumers continuously leverage major innovations in software design, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).

In contrast to the human brain, none of the other AI cyber technologies are completely autonomous or otherwise dubbed “intelligent.” Instead, they use complex algorithms and massive amounts of computing power to ‘intelligently’ process data. But that hasn’t stopped AI from becoming more prevalent in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity: AI vs. Human Beings

AI and machine learning play a key role on both sides of the cybersecurity battle, allowing attackers and defenders to operate at unprecedented speeds and scales.

On the assault side, the rise of so-called “adversarial AI” has included relatively simple machine learning algorithms that have been used to disastrous impact in spear-phishing attacks. The human cyber attacker can use effective social engineering tactics with a high probability of winning and almost no effort by extracting open-source intelligence and studying communications obtained from a corrupted account in a computerized and ‘intelligent’ manner.

DeepFake attacks, which use AI to emulate individuals’ voices and visual appeal in audio and video files, are another example. IBM’s DeepLocker pilot project is one of many demonstrating how artificial intelligence will speed up the development of advanced malicious software.

Threat Intelligence with AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are essential for effective threat intelligence in various aspects: coping with massive amounts of data and guaranteeing that the data is current.

Volumes are massive, and they’re only getting bigger. Without a sophisticated software suite, processing data to be used in real-time, making decisions is impossible. Sensors that use algorithms, sinkholes, and phishing sites can greatly increase threat data exploration and classification and peruse through it all at a different speed to identify unusual behavior.

Adding To Human Intelligence And Experience

We know that cyber skills are in high demand worldwide, with up to 3.5 million job openings unfilled right now. This adds to the difficulty of implementing an AI-driven cyber strategy that requires little human intervention.

Human analysts are more than just supervisors of computerization in good security threats. It sees the value-added knowledge of knowledgeable professionals who can break the mold, think creatively, and add context to the ‘almost-finished product delivered merely through AI and machine learning processes.

Another of AI’s achievements in cyber defense is mimicking applicable scenarios, which requires human/machine collaboration. Because of their capacity to assist, prevent, and detect new attacks, these technologies are becoming increasingly important in the ethical hacking toolkit.


While AI is becoming more prevalent in both cyber-attack and defense, neither side achieves their goals when they entirely depend on it. In the same manner that threat actors benefit the most when they combine human intelligence with machines’ incredibly advanced logic and industry, security teams have found that this is the best formula.

Nothing, at least not yet, compares to the unique ability of people to think. Only people can add the final 10% – the missing link in the chain that ensures the whole makes perfect sense – and make the kinds of critical decisions that corporate leaders would rather not delegate to a computer. They form the best possible team when they work as a team.

Javid Khan23. Jan 2023