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Cyber Defense Planning in the Financial Sector: Are you Prepared?

(Uploaded: 2019-02-22 15:12:13 -- Author: Sally Rozumalski)



Financial institutions are continuously targeted in this digital age. As threats to the industry evolve, the risk to financial institutions increases exponentially. EfficientIP’s Threat Report reveals an alarming 57% rise in the cost of cyber-attacks for financial services firms. This can cost a financial firm experiencing a cyberattack specifically targeting their online banking services an average of $1.8 million.

Financial entities have been a lucrative threat for cyber criminals for ages, due to the massive amount of data and money that can be obtained. This information includes everything from personal identifiers all the way to large scale stock and trading algorithms. The potential loss of this information and intellectual property is a major concern which financial institutions cannot afford to take lightly. As our society continues to operate more and more online cybercriminals have increased potential routes to breach companies’ defenses.

The increase in sophistication and multitude of cyber-threats, paired with strict regulations, and highly knowledgeable cyber criminals mean that financial institutions are having to step up their security practices significantly.


So where can you start, and what should you look for?


Here’s 4 best practices to establishing trust, security and a secure future in the financial industry.


1. It’s Not IF You’ll Experience a Breach, but WHEN

In 2016, 75 percent of businesses surveyed said they did not have a formal cybersecurity incident response plan across their organization, leaving them even more vulnerable in the aftermath of a hacking event. In addition, 66 percent stated they were not confident in their organization’s ability to recover from an attack. With numbers demonstrating that a cyberattack can be a matter of when, not if, there is no reason for a functioning organization to not have a data breach response plan in place, one that clearly outlines the step-by-step procedures to follow from the moment a cyberattack is suspected.


2. How Will You Handle a Potential Breach?

With the increase in cyber-attacks, financial institutions should consider not just how they can mitigate their risk of a cyberattack, but also how they will mitigate fall-out with their customer base if they do fall victim to one. One way to do this is to offer their customers resources to help resolve any issues that could arise from compromised data, such as an identity protection service with resolution included from a trusted provider. The return on investment for offering such a service or resources in advance of the breach can be significant. Research has shown that organizations that have initiatives that aim to improve customers’ trust in how the organization safeguards their personal information reduce the cost of a breach and generate a higher level of trust from their customers regardless.


3. Dedication to Cyber Defense is a Must

Making a commitment and supporting cyber security practices goes a long way within an organization and beyond. One way many financial institutions can demonstrate full support of preventing cybercrimes is to support organizations like National Cyber Security Alliance which can be instrumental in not only advocating about the issues in the financial industry but they can also educate about cybersecurity best practices that will better protect both consumers and businesses. This also includes investing in the future, for example Bank of America, leads by example with no budget restrictions on cybersecurity efforts. Protecting your customers from cyber threats is of upmost importance.


4. New Strategies Can Make All the Difference!

With news of major data breaches being reported on a seemingly daily basis, consume confidence in service providers’ ability to protect their data is reaching new lows. In fact, over 50 percent of consumers indicated a lack of confidence that credit card companies would keep

the data they shared with them private and secure. To address the cyberattacks causing this lack of trust, security technology is evolving rapidly to keep pace with development of technology used in cybersecurity threats Financial institutions need to be nimble and quick in updating their existing technology and adding new solutions in order to stay one step ahead of hackers. Institutions should consider adopting new options like multi-factor authentication, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and biometric credentials for account access, to help restore and increase consumer trust in their business practices.


Hardening the security standards in a financial institution and guarding against cyber-threats can be a constant battle. Incorporating appropriate diligence, and strategic planning is especially vital for financial institutions dealing with unique pressures from investors, regulatory bodies and ever more cunning and resourceful cyber criminals. Preparing today means being equipped with what is needed to tackle tomorrow’s cyber-threats effectively.

LACyber is a division of Lincoln Archives providing comprehensive Data Breach Defense Services. Lincoln Archives and LACyber are proud to be a part of Lincoln Family of Companies serving the Western New York Community since 1914.

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