Protecting Your Financial Institution from Security Breaches

Protecting Your Financial Institution from Security Breaches

By Ticia Brannon – Technical Writer – Intrinium

No company is immune from the risk of information security attacks or breaches.  Least of all, banking institutions.  We’ve all seen the movies.  Some resourceful, mastermind of a hacker infiltrates an organization and, with the aid of super-elite tech he created, accesses a bank vault to raid its stores.  Nowadaysthieves and neer-do-wells don’t even need to get their hands dirty and can just transfer millions of dollars with the click of a button.  Is it really that easy? It can be. 

Understanding the Risk 

Keeping banking and financial information secure is critical, but it’s a challenge that is becoming more difficult to address as the number of attempted breaches rises. 

Cybersecurity for banks and credit unions rose to the forefront of concern with the 2016 theft of 80 million dollars from the Bangladesh central bank.  This led to a rise in hackers interest in discovering technological vulnerabilities across the financial industry.   

In a 2018 robbery, cyberthieves exploited system security holes in an entire Mexican banking system. Gaining access to servers through compromised employee credentials, phishing attacks, and non-segmented networks, the thieves directed relatively small amounts of money to dummy accounts using fake sources as the origin An individual would then quickly withdraw the money. Hundreds of mini-heists later, the thieves had successfully siphoned off $15 million before the bank even knew what happened.  

Similar attempts to defraud banks happen across the globe with thieves wielding more advanced technological tricks than ever.  With the extensive regulations governing financial institutions, banks and credit unions have been staggering to keep pace with the ever-changing information security landscape. 

Protect Your Data and Reputation 

Every bank and credit union uses and retains a significant amount of confidential information.  Without appropriate information security measures in place, your systems and data are vulnerable to potential hackers, denial of service attacks, viruses and malware, and other risks. 

Don’t assume that your information security measures are working; regular testing can help you identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities before would-be attackers discover them. 

Don’t Forget the Human Element 

No matter how seemingly fool-proof your information security protection is, if your employees don’t understand security protocol, they could inadvertently help facilitate a breach. Make sure employees understand the business risks and threats related to the network, and that users know they play an important role in protecting the client and bank information. 

Using security awareness training modules can be a valuable way to audit your employees’ preparedness to identify potential risks, providing hands-on training to help you strengthen your defenses. Similarly, incident response planning can ensure your team is ready to handle a “real” attack when it happens.

With the rise of cyberattacks increasing exponentially every year, a proactive approach to protecting information is imperative.  It is estimated that banks and credit unions lose tens of millions of dollars annually due to cybertheft.  While the payout can be lucrative for thieves, the cost of protecting your financial institution doesn’t have to be. 

Adaptability is the Name of the Game 

Threats to the banking industry are constantly changing, forcing institutions to need a broadspectrum, multi-faceted analysis of their information security.  Implementing advanced solutions like those that Intrinium offers can help keep sensitive information confidential and secure.  Intrinium works with banks and credit unions across the US, helping address managed IT service needs, providing IT consulting and project management services, technical support, network management, managed security, and monitoring services, compliance and audit services and much more.  To learn more about how Intrinium can perform a risk assessment based on the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool Baseline standard to make your institution less vulnerable and help mitigate risk, contact us today.

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