Regulatory Compliance and Identity Security: A Comprehensive Guide for Financial Institutions

John White

March 27, 2024

With all the sensitive data financial institutions collect, it should come as no surprise that the financial services industry is one of the top targets for cybercriminals. That's also why compliance with stringent regulations and standards is so important — in fact, it's essential for doing business. Learn the most important components of regulatory compliance and identity security below. 

In This Article

An Overview of Key Regulatory Frameworks

Using a regulatory framework can help simplify compliance management by providing clear guidelines for adhering to key industry standards and regulations. 

One especially prominent example is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. Many organizations voluntarily adopt this framework from the NIST as part of a proactive approach to managing cyber threats.

Many institutions will implement multiple frameworks as part of a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity, which can help close identity security gaps and improve compliance processes.

Identity Security in Financial Institutions

Identity protection is just as critical in the financial sector as it is in government, healthcare and other highly regulated industries. 

As part of their typical operation, financial institutions collect highly sensitive data from customers, such as:

  • Credit card information
  • Bank account and routing numbers
  • Personal addresses
  • Social Security numbers
  • Tax documents
  • Credit history records
  • Investment records

Adhering to the applicable industry regulations is critical for keeping this information safe and retaining the trust of your customers. Beyond that, though, data breaches can cost financial institutions hundreds of thousands — or even millions — in non-compliance penalties. 

Key Regulatory Compliance Measures

Some of the most important regulations that apply to the financial industry include:

  • PCI DSS: Any financial institution that processes payments from major credit and debit card providers must meet specific obligations for protecting cardholder data, including end-to-end encryption and advanced authentication.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): All financial institutions must disclose their procedures for data collection to all current and potential investors. The act also requires institutions to publicly report data breaches as soon as possible. 
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA): Financial institutions must disclose what nonpublic personal information they collect in order to provide financial products or services.

There are also some regional regulations that may apply to your institution:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): Institutions meeting certain criteria that do business with Californian citizens must give customers complete transparency over how they collect and use customer data. The act also gives customers greater control over what companies can do with their data.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Companies processing data from citizens of the European Union (EU) must get consent in order to collect and use that data. They are also required to report any security incidents in a timely fashion.

At Bravura Security, we understand that trust is the foundation of any financial institution's relationship with its customers. That’s why we're proud to share success stories from our clients:

Challenges and Complexities in Compliance


Striking a good balance between robust identity security and a good customer experience (CX) is one of the biggest challenges financial institutions face in cybersecurity compliance. 

Today's customers expect efficient and personalized service — so much so that data-driven personalization has become an essential part of gaining customer trust. The challenge is gathering and using that data in a way that complies with the industry's most important cybersecurity regulations.

And that task becomes even more challenging when you consider that regulatory requirements are constantly changing in response to the evolving threat landscape.

Essentially, financial institutions must continuously prioritize transparency and data security in order to create the personalized experiences customers look for. Applying an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution to your customer-facing applications can help you enhance CX and improve your security posture by empowering your customers to take more control over their data. 

Building a Robust Identity Security Framework

Protecting sensitive user information from unauthorized access is non-negotiable in today’s digital era. Bravura Security Fabric offers a state-of-the-art solution with:

  • Improve your Re-Certification Process: Ditch your spreadsheets based on point-in-time information and allow your resource managers to re-certify access based on real-time data with immediate results.
  • End-to-End Encryption & Secure Data Practices: Our platform ensures the highest level of data protection during transit and at rest, supported by comprehensive encryption protocols and secure IAM solutions tailored for financial institutions.
  • Automate Compliance through Identity Orchestration: Leverage our automated tools for onboarding and offboarding, reducing manual oversight and enhancing your institution’s security posture while ensuring segregation of duties rules are adhered to.

With Bravura Security, financial institutions can efficiently manage identity security while aligning with industry regulations, thanks to our customizable and scalable solutions.

Employee Training and Awareness Streamlines Compliance

When 74% of data breaches involve the human element, it's clear that investing in your people is a vital piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. Building a culture of security awareness within your institution through employee training programs can help simplify compliance management by keeping security at the forefront of everyone's mind. 

It also encourages your employees to report anything that could be a threat — which helps you catch incidents before they can escalate into serious problems. 

Using Technological Solutions for Compliance

Implementing the right software solutions can help you improve compliance processes by simplifying your responsibilities.

Many institutions combine multiple software tools to create a comprehensive solution, which can include:

  • IAM systems: A holistic IAM solution helps protect sensitive data by ensuring the right people get the right level of access to the right information. 
  • SIEM tools: Security information and event management (SIEM) tools use a set of predefined rules to identify threats and alert security teams in real-time. 
  • Automation: Tech tools with automation capabilities streamline compliance by running key security functions such as scanning for vulnerabilities and mitigating known threats.

Incident Response and Reporting

Most financial institutions — banks especially — are required to have well-designed incident response plans to comply with regulations. 

But the importance of an incident response plan goes beyond avoiding fines. Having a clear, actionable plan will help your institution minimize losses and recover faster in the event of a cyberattack. 

Ideally, your incident response plan should be a document you can easily adapt to changes in the industry and threat landscape. It can help to review your plan with an attorney to ensure your plan covers all the important regulation requirements. 

Although it can result in reputational damage, financial institutions must be transparent with their customers in the aftermath of a security incident. Reporting the impact of a data breach is a key component of compliance with industry regulations, such as SOX and GLBA. 

Future Trends and Considerations

Cybercriminals are constantly changing their tactics, which is why regulatory bodies have begun revising their requirements more frequently. Over the next few years, we're likely to see stricter regulations and higher penalties for non-compliance, which is why organizations should be well prepared.

Adopting a proactive stance toward cybersecurity is critical for ensuring your financial institution can stay ahead of evolving threats and keep up with regulation updates. That's where a robust identity security system comes in — software systems that update frequently equip your institution to face whatever the future will bring.

Enhance Compliance and CX With Bravura Security

The right technology tools are essential for implementing streamlined compliance processes that don't sacrifice excellent UX. As the market's only comprehensive IAM platform, Bravura Security Fabric helps financial institutions create a highly secure yet frictionless experience for internal users and customers alike. 

Discover the Power of One. Request your free demo today to see Bravura Security Fabric in action.