5 Ways Financial Institutions Can Enhance Cybersecurity Measures
Millions of individuals’ private data are stolen yearly, especially in the financial industry. Breaches in this sector hurt customer trust and can damage business.
These tips can help you enhance cybersecurity measures for smooth operations and the protection of sensitive information. They include conducting a vulnerability assessment and implementing security software.
1. Train Your Employees
While phishing attacks, ransomware, and DDoS threats are significant concerns for all industries, the banking industry is particularly susceptible to cyberattacks because it stores large volumes of customer information. Any disruption or unauthorized alteration of this information can lead to serious financial consequences for the bank and its customers.
All employees must understand how to recognize and mitigate cybersecurity threats to prevent such incidents. In addition, the bank must have a thorough incident response plan (IRP) that defines how it responds to security incidents.
Training should be fun and informative rather than boring or dry to increase employee engagement. For instance, employees should be encouraged to share their experiences with cyberattacks at work so that other staff members can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes.
Additionally, it is essential to make cybersecurity in the financial industry mandatory for all employees, regardless of their position. This way, the threat is addressed as seriously as any other risk and can be prevented from getting out of hand.
2. Install a Firewall
A firewall is ain and out of a private network. It works by screening incoming data packets and customizing access parameters. There are many different types of firewalls. Some are software-based, while others are dedicated hardware units.
Firewalls are designed to prevent malicious attacks and unauthorized access to network systems. They can be installed on computer systems (Windows and Mac) or in the gateway between the network and the internet.
The firewall analyzes incoming data packets, looking for malicious code that could infect network devices. It then checks whether the incoming data packet is part of an ongoing attack and blocks it. It also examines the content of outgoing data packets and filters it.
Implementing firewalls to protect networks against cyberattacks and avoid data breaches is crucial. Without these security measures, hackers can gain access to networks and devices, steal confidential information, and use it for fraud. This puts the privacy of individuals at risk, as well as a company’s reputation.
3. Educate Your Customers
Educating consumers about cyber threats helps reduce incidents due to neglect and lack of knowledge. For instance, teaching your customers how to spot phishing emails reduces their chances of falling prey to such attacks.
Moreover, financial institutions can enhance their security by educating customers on protecting themselves against cyberattacks. In addition, this approach can increase customer trust and loyalty to the firm.
Hackers can target more firms with greater speed and effectiveness as technology advances. These advancements also create fewer redundancies, which means the impact of a cyber incident is likely to have systemic ramifications rather than simply impairing one firm’s ability to service customers.
For example, a recent attack involved malware introduced into a software update for a third-party vendor, which infected its customers – including many large financial institutions. \
4. Invest in Security Software
Money and revenue are considered the most important assets for a firm. Therefore, investing in cybersecurity tools, training, and IT infrastructure helps save a company a lot of money in the long run. It avoids paying claims by customers and penalties from regulators in case of a cyber attack.
It also reduces the risk of losing valuable information in a ransomware attack by creating data backups and keeping systems up to date with vulnerability management tools. Moreover, it prevents employees from downloading malware by blocking access to unsecure websites and installing anti-virus software on their devices. Additionally, implementing cybersecurity protocols and controls decreases employees’ exposure to adware, spyware, and phishing attacks.
The FSSCC has established some specific systemic efforts to mitigate cyber risks, including developing and conducting industry-wide incident response exercises, sharing threat and vulnerability information, and improving the ability of financial firms to identify potential cyber threats and the extent to which they could threaten financial stability. Efforts also focus on reducing the impact of a cyber attack by fostering greater cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities.
5. Create a Security Policy
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving industry; creating a security policy is important for financial institutions. It can help protect them from data breaches, scams, and hackers that target confidential and unreleased information. It can also help them stay current on new threats they may face.
A cybersecurity policy must include the input of all stakeholders, including non-technical employees. This can be done by inviting them to work groups or other arenas where they can provide their input. Having these people involved in the policy creation process can help them understand the importance of it and will help increase engagement and acceptance.
Policies should be reviewed regularly to keep up with technological changes. A security policy should include a roadmap for an organization’s security program and describe responsibilities and compliance mechanisms. It should also be written high enough to remain relevant through technological change. Lastly, it’s critical that the C-level executives of an organization set the tone for the security policy by providing executive oversight and support for it.