It’s important for financial institutions to prevent, protect, deter, and educate on cyberattacks.
First, you must know and address your vulnerabilities: Check and doublecheck for openings. Implement security and manage system updates. Educate employees on what to look for and how to react.
There are three commonly reported areas for cyberattacks in the banking industry, and cybersmart organizations will continually assess systems, monitor activities, and actively protect against them:
The biggest risk for banks stems from computer programs that could be used to destroy systems and access sensitive information. You may hear this called malicious software, spyware, adware, ransomware, viruses, worms, rootkits, or Trojans. In addition to financial motivation, we are seeing an increase in corporate and political espionage. Think about the recent ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline that was achieved by stealing a single password. In this very prominent case, they damaged the fuel supply chain and the business involved was caught in the crossfire.
The most common questions we hear are about hacking, which poses a major risk to your systems and networks. A hacker can exploit vulnerabilities, usually identified when using the internet and dark web, and gain unauthorized access to your systems and data. This breach allows them undetected and unobstructed movement throughout a network and control over the data and files within it. Unfortunately, the average cybercriminal has access to a system for 49-150 days before exploiting it. To give a recent example, the hackers in the case of SolarWinds had access to the network for nine months. Resulting damages can be staggering.
- Third-party breaches
Finally, as if there aren’t enough risks within our systems, we need to ensure that vendors are keeping up with cybersecurity and protecting their systems at the risk of our reputation. An infamous example is the Target breach where cybercriminals notoriously broke in through their HVAC vendor.
Unsure of your current vulnerabilities? Contact a KCoe advisor to perform a thorough IT evaluation of your business, and create strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks and ensure resiliency.