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In the first of this two-part blog, I reported the impact that the Dyn DDoS attack had on the financial services industry.  Banks, insurers, credit cards, and others had two waves of impacts on Oct. 21, with many websites clocking in with 60 second page response times, and others with outright failures, not able to service their customers.

In Part 2, we'll dig into some details to better understand the technology risks of financial services websites, and extract some lessons learned for the industry.

The recent DDoS attack against the Dyn DNS service resulted in major impact across the financial services industry, and provides us an example to better understand the technology risks and the lessons learned from this attack.

In the first of this two part blog, we will examine the impact that the attack had on banks, insurance companies, and other firms in the industry.  In Part 2, we'll dig into some details to better understand the technology risks of financial services websites, and extract some lessons learned for the industry.

The Easiest way to Improve the User Experience

I had an interesting conversation with a former Akamai banking customer this week about his past experience with Akamai. He is now an independent consultant, working with banks on digital transformation and other projects.

Last week, American Banker hosted its brand new conference, Cybersec 2016 in Midtown Manhattan. Penny Crosman (@pennycrosman), Editor at Large, American Banker, did a great job as chair of the event and brought together thoughtful presenters and panelists. There were great insights from leaders in the industry from BBVA, Bank of the West, USAA, Mastercard, U.S. Bank, and many others. It was a fantastic day of information sharing - exactly what we need more of within the Financial Services Industry.

The financial services sector is arguably the most advanced private sector for intelligence gathering, security information sharing, and investment in cyber security controls.  For those of us who have been involved in cyber security for the last few years, we have the experienced periods of high threat activity, such as the al-Qassam Cyber Fighters and Operation Ababil, as well as periods of relative calm.

Each year since 2011 the Federal Reserve has conducted a "Consumers and Mobile Financial Services" survey of over 2,000 US adults on their use of mobile banking.  The study focuses on the consumer trends and the use of mobile devices to access financial and banking services, and to help make financial decisions.

3 Recommendations for a Successful Social Media Strategy

The highly regulated environment of the financial services industry has likely contributed to the fact that many banks and financial institutions have been relatively slow to embrace social media engagement. However, with a deep understanding of the landscape and the compliance issues that govern the industry, financial institutions can have great success within the social media landscape.

4 Critical Focus Areas

During a recent business trip, I had the opportunity to finally see Adam McKay's wonderful portrayal of the horror that was the 2008 financial crisis - "The Big Short." Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell brought me right back to that time, not so long ago, when we all witnessed the fall of major Wall Street firms and the destruction caused by the sub-prime mortgage boom.

We've always known that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and it couldn't be truer than it is with mobile financial services. It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand, and as noted in Akamai's recent whitepaper "Digital Transformation, Millennials and the Future of Financial Services", 52% of mobile financial services customers expect pages to load in two seconds or less, while 23% expect instant page load. Consumer's high expectations for mobile financial services, coupled with the rise of digitally native competition, mean the stakes have never been higher for banks and insurers looking to acquire new customers. When banks and insurers get this right and delight customers with exceptional digital experiences, it becomes much easier to sell additional products, prove value, and create loyal customers. Loyal customers are the ultimate nirvana for financial institutions because the added cost of selling another product to an existing customer is often only about ten percent of the cost of selling that same product to a new customer.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your customer remains central to your mobile strategy.

I recently spoke at the 7th annual BankTech Summit in Hong Kong, and had a chance to meet with many of our customers who attended.  Meeting with customers has always been the best part of my job, and in particular, hearing first hand war stories about their challenges.  The stories that I've recently heard involve a common problem: mainframe and back end systems becoming overloaded due to the success of digital transformation.

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