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 SmartRisk Financial Services Give Financial Institutions the Ability to Streamline Security Technology Spending 

@stake, the world's leading digital security consulting firm, today announced SmartRisk (SM) Financial Services, a focused set of security services, designed to help manage and mitigate the risks unique to the business issues facing financial institutions.

SmartRisk Financial Services are delivered by @stake consultants with collective experience from financial institutions including Banker's Trust, Capital One, Castle Harlan, Fleet, Fidelity, NatWest Bank, Paragon Federal Credit Union, Visa, as well as experience working with @stake's more than 20 market leading financial services clients. This tailored portfolio of services reflects an understanding of the security implications of business trends in the financial services industry.

According to Meridien Research, consolidation in the financial services industry continues to be a major industry trend. David Potterton, research director at Meridien Research states, "As more banks, credit unions and financial exchanges merge or are acquired, they are still responsible for providing immediate responses to customer demands. This includes balancing the appropriate level of security for the functionality their clients seek."

According to @stake CTO Dan Geer, "When working with our financial services clients, we help identify and manage risks the organisation can, and cannot bear. Ultimately, @stake's repeated engagements at numerous financial institutions demonstrate the need for a portfolio of capabilities that identify the security implications inherent in protecting merging and growing financial institutions. @stake recognises and addresses the need for these firms to operate securely in an environment that must remain open and flexible for customers and partners. With our SmartRisk Financial Services offerings, we continue to help financial institutions effectively manage security risks throughout the chaos that ensues during a consolidation."

Former Senior Managing Director at Castle Harlan, Jeffery Siegal, and now @stake's CFO acknowledges, "Under difficult economic conditions, operational efficiency is a major determinate of a financial institution's ability to thrive. The decisions firms make to become more efficient include efforts to streamline and maximise return on technology. This effort to streamline
operations and infrastructure has significant security implications for both the present business and a financial institution's ability to prudently explore new opportunities in the future."

Streamlining operations for efficiency can have significant security benefits and challenges. SmartRisk Financial Services help design security architectures that streamline and simplify infrastructure as well as ready the security of an environment for whatever turns the market takes. Financial institutions take many different approaches to becoming more efficient including:

Infrastructure Consolidation:

Financial institutions consolidate business units and back-end systems to drive efficiency and realise benefits of mergers and acquisitions. @stake works with clients to determine how consolidation influences the security of back-end systems supporting the merged entity. In addition, @stake works with clients to determine the security risks associated with merging and/or migrating applications and, if the application can support future demands.

Customer Portals:

Financial institutions drive efficient service and customer retention through enabling retail and institutional customers to make trades, manage accounts, access reports, and pay bills online. @stake works with financial clients to ensure customer privacy while enabling new service offerings and channels like wireless access. By taking the security of a portal's entire infrastructure into account and leveraging the client's prior technology investments, @stake enables clients to provide high value services with a strategy that focuses security spending on
areas with the greatest risk.

Emerging Electronic Exchanges:

Financial institutions are changing the way they interact with each other through a number of electronic exchanges and private networks. To help firms take advantage of both international and cross-market opportunities, @stake works to assess the firm's exchange infrastructure and prioritise risks.

Secure Infrastructures:

The core business of a financial institution is dependent on its technology infrastructures to process transactions and manage assets. During periods of consolidation, a firm must maintain vigilant security to protect the integrity of the core business, especially if reorganisations result in large layoffs that include individuals with intimate knowledge of the business and computing environment. @stake works with clients to prioritising risks and design solutions to mitigate the most significant risks.

This results in security architectures and operational procedures that streamline infrastructure while protecting the core business and customer privacy.

For more information on @stake's SmartRisk Financial services, please visit

About @stake

@stake works where business and technology intersect, because that is where security is most powerful. The firm integrates technical and business expertise to build security solutions that look beyond the network to the security of applications and data, and future business goals.

@stake couples vertical industry expertise in three areas-- financial services, communication service providers and e-markets-- with pioneering research, to design and build strategic security solutions that enable the electronic business initiatives of its Global 2000 clients. Amidst other providers for whom security services are a way to sell products or drive the sale of broader service offerings, @stake stands out with its dedicated focus on security consulting services and the unmatched calibre of its people.

@stake security consultants and research scientists built their expertise at premier organisations including the L0pht, Cerberus Information Security, DERA, the National Security Agency, Axent, BBN, Deloitte & Touche, Open Market and RSA. @stake matches its unparalleled security talent with equally strong vertical industry and business expertise drawn from Sapient, Cambridge Technology Partners, Arthur Andersen, Fleet, Fidelity, Exodus, Nortel and Interpath.

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