For a cyber attacker, just about everything and anything out there is a target. Whether for the theft of confidential information, such as PIN numbers and passwords, or having adequate data about somebody to launch a covert identity theft attack, their final goal is to get money. In this regard, one of the most vulnerable is financial institutions. in spite of being mandated by a variety of federal legislation forcing financial institutions to improve their system of audits and controls, many of them are still are victims of cyber attacks.
Here is the Checklist for Financial Institutions to Avoid Cyber attacks!
Use Approved File-Sharing Programs
It’s obvious that many financial institutions create and possess many documents. These can collection from simple bank statements to secret financial modeling data that the banks have to mail over to the federal government for review and approval.
In order to electronically transmit these important documents from one place to another, employees have to make use of file-sharing programs. Most financial institutions have already used this tool, which is supposed to have built-in safety features. However, employees, being habitual, over and over again like to use the software tools that they are accustomed to. Many of these tools send details as clear text across a network, which would make it very simple for the cyber attacker to intercept and hijack mission-critical information as well as data.
Avoid bad practices to Avoid Data Loss
As discussed before, information is very important for any financial organization, whether it’s customer data or just internal data. But it must be protected so that it does not fall into the hands of a cyber attacker. Examples of bad practices comprise the following:
- Using a USB flash drive to save confidential information so that he (or she) will be able to work from home
- Sending company details or memos to a personal email address so that it can be more straightforwardly accessed by the employee
- Having their laptop stolen at the time when it is being used in a public venue
- Tossing not to be disclosed financial documents into the trash
If it’s in your budget, it is highly suggested that you seek the help of an accounting firm or another cybersecurity firm in order to help you start your set of data loss prevention controls as well as get regular audits.
Other regular safeguards include securely deleting all data from discarded hard drives and shredding documents before disposing of them.
Make sure Your Entire IT Infrastructure Is Up to Date
This simply means that your whole IT staff has been trained and is keeping up with installing the latest firmware/software patches and any other related updates on all of the servers, workstations and mobile devices. It is important to maintain a regular schedule of this and make sure that the duties are distributed among various employees, not just one.
Ensure to Implement a Strong Password Policy
Passwords are still the major source of interest for the cyber attacker, particularly at a financial organization. For that reason, it’s critical that you have a very strong password policy in place. This will, of course, mean that employees will have to generate long and complex passwords, so In this regard; you are supposed to consider making use of a password manager application.
Hackers are getting smarter with every passing day, and you need to be on your toes if you don’t want to be a victim. Well, at least now you know the checklist to follow to avoid cyber attacks.