Compliance can be a pain. The bulk of compliance-related-costs for financial institutions is directly related to data security. In fact, 90% of institutions find GDPR compliance difficult to achieve and a further 51% find PCI DSS challenging to achieve.

IT and data infrastructure has become a fundamental part of the compliance and auditing process for banks, which is reflected in increased tech funding (36%) year-over-year. Today, we’re going to talk about 5 easy ways that your bank can streamline auditing to simplify regulatory processes and prevent compliance oversights. These simple solutions will help keep your bank compliant and go over some of the basic IT audit requirements for banks.

Automate Redundancies

Automation is good, so long as you know exactly where to put the machine. – Eliyahu Goldratt

One of the easiest ways to streamline compliance processes through automation. Whether that means leveraging software that helps automate specific workflows or leveraging technology in the growing regtech space, automation can significantly improve your auditing experience. Of course, the first step towards automation is understanding your IT infrastructure. You need to be fully aware of what specific technologies would work well within your existing framework and have a good idea of the overall cost-of-implementation. Automation helps reduce mundanity for employees while giving your bank the accuracy it needs to comply in the ever-complex regulatory space. Again, this automation can take many forms (regtech, workflows, apps, etc.) but the result should be uncomplicated auditing practices that help keep your bank compliant.

Work With Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Bankers are busy. Between finances, business, and soft skill management, most bankers are forced to get a basic understanding of their IT systems. However, it’s important to remember that having IT experts will drastically improve your IT architecture. Auditing has become a data-driven process. Are you GDPR compliant? Are you PCI DSS compliant? In the end, working with IT experts can ensure that you’re utilizing the right tools to help keep your bank compliant across data-regulation channels.

Spread the Load

Audit preparation isn’t a one-person job. The auditing process is complex and preparing for an audit requires many different channels of business to work congruently, hand-in-hand. You need your IT professionals to ensure that you have the correct infrastructure to support your regulatory tools and workflows, you need a compliance officer (or someone familiar with audit procedures) to handle specifics, and you need every other business unit prepared adequately. Audits can be stressful, but with the right IT partner, you will be prepared on multiple levels.

Plan Appropriately

How far in advance should you plan for your audit? As far in advance as possible. Many banks put their audit planning on an 18-month cycle, but, realistically, you should plan as-far-in-advance-as-possible. This falls in line with the previous point about spreading your load. Make sure that you have each member of your “auditing team” prepared for the upcoming audit, and direct auditors to specific team members to answer questions. This will also help to ensure that your SMEs are answering questions accurately, and you avoid needless repetition.

Utilize IT Expertise

Finally, utilize IT expertise. We’ve seen a growing trend of compliance-fears regarding looming data regulations. GDPR and PCIS are complicated, but each of them firmly requires that you have a secure network/IT infrastructure. The fines, penalties, etc. that originate from failures to comply with these new data regulations are massive, and they can do some severe damage to your bank’s reputation.

Network Technologies has been working with financial institutions since 1993. We have extensive knowledge to help you stay compliant by informing you of potential threats within your IT infrastructure. If you have any questions, or, if you’re preparing for an audit and you need an IT team that’s prepared, contact us online or by phone at 913-538-7700.

Sources: Benchmark study conducted by Ponemon Institute LLC