Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Financial Institutions

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There has been an increase in cyber-attacks from recent years in financial institutions. From the analysis made, the sector experiences most attacks every year. The reason is that the hackers target where the money is.

Large and small companies are at risk of cyber-threats, and the breach costs the institutions millions of money. The top violations encountered by the institutions are unpatched systems, Phishing, and malware.

Below are the essential tips that financial institutions need to deploy to protect themselves against the attacks.

Continuous Threat Monitoring

The financial industry needs to perform threat monitoring 24 hours per day. The attacks can happen at any time, so it’s good that the companies stay alert at all times not to be caught unaware. When the institution delays to monitor the threats, they may not be able to recover data after the hackers have their way.

Cybercriminals will always try to cover their tracks and all loopholes. Once they hack the login credentials, they’ll make ways to develop more advanced tactics, which doubles the risks as they navigate to acquire more sensitive information. The hackers will then use the siphoned data for their selfish interests like future attack tactics.

Some of the largest institutions have experienced cyber-attacks where hackers got into the system through the SWIFT banking network using phishing tricks. Such an incident is an indicator that financial institutions need to perform threat monitoring to detect potential attacks and protect the system.

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Evaluate and Control Vulnerabilities

There has been a significant increase in software vulnerabilities over the past few years, which is a high increase compared to the previous years. The findings indicate that an increased attack surface causes the vulnerabilities due to advanced technological developments that give hackers broad tactics to exploit their activities.

An organization can’t address all vulnerabilities even if they have top-notch IT professionals and technology. The institution needs to perform checks within the environment to identify the weak software and systems.

They should also prioritize the most critical vulnerabilities so they can address them within the shortest time possible before it’s too late.

Excellent vulnerability management is highly effective in reducing the attack surface. It’s good to note that this needs to be consistent because periodic control can open loopholes for the attackers.

Head-Up Third-Party Risks

When the organizations contract third parties such as suppliers, vendors, and partners, it makes the institution exposed and vulnerable to attacks even with a secure security system. The hackers can gain access to the systems using the weakest third party on the list.

The cyber-criminal can get leaks through the vendors, which exposes customers and the organization’s data. The institutions need to:

• Use threat detection and response mechanisms to monitor the network for any irregularities.

• Create segments in the system and restrict third-party access.

• Establish and verify security measures for the third parties.

• Maintain high security tried and tested best practices with the third parties.

Train and Educate Employees

Employees are the first line of defense to security attacks since their work is mobile and runs 24/7. It’s crucial to train and empower them to identify threats and learn to keep their information secure. Teach them to avoid attachments that don’t have context or emails that come with vague subject lines.

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Most of the time, they’ll receive emails from unknown sources or even worse, known sources that hackers have already compromised. The most common malware experienced by employees easily bypasses the firewalls riding on the existing applications.

Another thing is to let your employees apply security best practices when signing in with the company email. They can use password managers and ensure that they log out of computers or smartphones all the time.

Summary

The financial industry needs to remain consistent with its security measures to ensure that there is no loophole for hackers to access the system. They should put measures in place to have data back-up if the systems get compromised so that it doesn’t stall their work. Using the above guidelines will help organizations to run their job effectively without the hacker’s interference.

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