3 secrets from the world of security that should not be secret

Your company becomes victim of a cyberattack. Your customer has his account hacked. Or you, in a distracted Monday morning, clicked in a doubtful email. In all those cases we tend to ask for help from people with the knowledge to help us out. Security is firstly made by people, not lines of computer code.

On November 3rd, three Rabobank security stories were awarded in the Rabo Security Awards 2022. These stories are accomplishments of colleagues that make secure banking happen for our employees, customers and society. Awards Winners who were not only security professionals, proving once more that security is made by everyone – we really hope this information did not blow your mind. However, if it did, we invite you to look at security in a broader perspective.

While we tell you the stories that gave these professionals the title of Awards Winners, we will share three secrets from the world of security with you. Get ready.

Secret number 1: WE make it happen.

By we, we mean you, your colleague, myself, all of us.
Spoiler alert: This is the “We” we will refer to until the end of the article.             
There is often a distance between “I” and “cybersecurity”. Terminologies are quite complex and new to our daily vocabulary. Such communication gap has created some mystification around security topics. Therefore, security awareness and education are key elements to get us closer to the information we need to act securely. The first winning story of the Rabo Security Awards is about an initiative from a group of Rabobank professionals to help to fill this gap.

Talents from Corporate Insurance, Security, Commercial and Marketing areas looked at the in-house expertise and saw an opportunity to increase the knowledge of colleagues and customers, but also to offer customers an insurance against cyber threats. This is how Rabobank Cyber(risk) Insurance was created. Giving the group the title of Award Winners of the Rabo Security Awards in the category We make it happen.

Secret number 2: WE build security

Behind every functioning system there are talented people figuring out the best deployment form, the most compliant process and the most comfortable features to the user (we need to talk about this term another time)  – or the most “user friendly” option. This is not an easy task. A lot of perspectives and professional views need to be heard to accomplish smart decisions. This is why IT Communities are so important at Rabobank.

One of the communities that engage the discussions in security in our organization is the StrongBow.  What the talented professionals in StrongBow did (and keep doing) is enhancing the culture of community and cooperative thinking around security (and other topics). By creating bridges between policies, standards and the practical work field. The group facilitates understanding between different experts and share knowledge cross functions. StrongBow community won the category of We build security in the Rabo Security Awards not for one story, but for all the security stories they have been facilitating to happen.

Secret number 3: WE protect our customers

Here comes the biggest of all secrets: no complex security technology will work if the simplest steps are not taken by people. No, robots did not take over the world yet.
Security is here to protect you, not to bother you. In fact, the whole point is to avoid big headaches in a later stage.

Once upon a time… there was a situation happening in the Rabobank banking app.  A feature was deployed and working but required extra attention from customers to set it up securely.
However, security is not only about compliance, it is also about how easy we make it for customers to protect themselves. And this goes beyond functioning computer code.

The Customer Service Centre and DevOps teams observed how customers used the app. Upon a signal from them, a group of colleagues gathered together and made some changes in the feature design. The whole change was to lower the chances of customers to put themselves at risk by accident. It was not only about technology but about understanding our customers’ behaviour. The Rabobank professionals that took the initiative to improve the process became then Award Winners in the category We protect our customers.

The stories shared at the Rabo Security Awards were inspirational examples. The truth is that there are many other security stories happening every minute, everywhere. Stories of professionals in and outside security field that make our society more secure and collaborative.

We invite you to rethink security, putting people as key element to turn this into a topic that sparks collaboration instead of mystification. It is everyone’s interest that we have a more cyber resilient society. Rabo Security Awards continues in the next year. We can’t wait to tell the new stories from colleagues that make it happen, build security and protect customers.

Do you want to know more about cybersecurity within Rabobank? Read employee stories in GROW Magazine and get inspired by stories of people that build a secure culture in and outside the organization.

About the author

Cindy Santos
Communications Specialist, Chapter Security & In Control

Cindy is a Public Relations, certified Security Awareness Professional, with MBA in Marketing. Together with the Security Behaviour, Awareness & Learning team of Rabobank, she is a great believer in the power of storytelling as well as people's behavior as key drivers for evolution. Her journey includes corporate communications, security awareness and behavior change programs at FrieslandCampina, Philips and, since 2021, at Rabobank.

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