Cybersecurity is of the utmost importance for the finance sector. According to VMware’s “Modern Bank Heists Report”, in the first half of 2022, 63% of surveyed financial firms reported experiencing cyberattacks, which is a 17% increase from the previous year. To protect sensitive customer data, the US government and certain independent entities have developed, and continue to enforce, various cybersecurity regulations for financial institutions to follow.
Over the years, policymakers have updated these cybersecurity regulations to account for evolving technologies and cyberthreats, so compliance can be a moving target. But as these regulations' purpose remains the same, your business can keep up with the changes and remain compliant by implementing the solutions outlined in this blog.
External Vulnerability Scanning
Cybercriminals take advantage of flaws in your cybersecurity infrastructure that they can exploit to infiltrate your network. Once inside, they can steal your data, infect your systems with malware, or launch cyberattacks against your partners, vendors, and customers. Unfortunately, many potential weaknesses in your cybersecurity infrastructure are difficult to spot.
This is where external vulnerability scanning comes in. It uses automated tools to examine your organization's public-facing IP addresses and websites for known vulnerabilities. Once the scan is complete, you'll get a report detailing the findings. You can then use this information to patch any security holes and minimize your organization's cybersecurity risks.
Regularly conducting the scan allows you to catch potential threats before they compromise your network. It also helps you continuously strengthen your firm's cyber defenses.
Dark Web Monitoring
Most of the data stolen by cybercriminals ends up on the dark web, which is a part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines and, thus, is not readily accessible to average users. Dark web monitoring continuously scans those remote corners of the internet for your organization's data. You can focus the scan on specific types of data, such as employee or investor information, and the solution will alert you once they’re detected.
Dark web monitoring is a powerful service, but keep in mind, it's not designed to prevent cyber incidents. It does, however, help you quickly detect data breaches and immediately limit the damage they could cause. The service also enables you to find previously unknown flaws in your cybersecurity, so you can address them and minimize the risk of similar data breaches happening in the future.
An endpoint is any device that connects to your network, such as a laptop, computer, or mobile device. Such devices often contain sensitive data, so they’re an attractive target for cybercriminals. With the prevalence of remote work, finance companies must now take care of more endpoints. Unfortunately, endpoints become more vulnerable when used outside the office, as they are no longer covered by the company's enterprise-grade firewalls and anti-malware tools.
Endpoint encryption uses software to encrypt the data stored on endpoints, making it unreadable to anyone who doesn't have the decryption key. Data is encrypted before it is transmitted, so if thieves steal the data while it is in transit, they won't be able to read it. Additionally, if a device is lost or stolen, the data stored inside will remain safe since unauthorized users can't access it.
One of the most common things we hear about is employees traveling with their work laptops and forgetting them in a taxi, leaving them in an airport terminal, or having them stolen out of their cars. Thankfully, we provide them with endpoint encryption so any sensitive data that’s on the device won’t be accessible to the person who finds or takes it.
A virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) is a cybersecurity expert who acts as a consultant and provides services remotely, often on a part-time or as-needed basis. vCISOs work with your internal cybersecurity team, or your outsourced IT partner, to develop and implement cybersecurity strategies that align with your business goals. They also advise you on how to best use your cybersecurity budget and monitor your cybersecurity program's performance.
vCISOs are ideal for financial institutions without a full-time CISO, but even organizations with an in-house CISO can benefit from vCISO services. The vCISO can supplement your internal team's expertise, provide fresh perspectives, and offer unbiased recommendations. Most vCISOs are also experts in cybersecurity regulations compliance, so they can help you ensure that your cybersecurity program meets all the latest and most relevant requirements.
Security Awareness Training
Your employees interact with your organization's data daily, so they are your firm's first line of defense against cyberthreats. Because of this, it's crucial that they know how to identify and report potential threats. For instance, employees must know what to do should they encounter a suspicious email or lose their work laptop.
Security awareness training teaches your staff about cybersecurity risks and best practices. It usually covers topics like social engineering, phishing, and password security, but you can customize your training syllabus based on your company's needs or compliance requirements. When done right, security awareness training can help reduce the likelihood of a successful cyberattack, making it a relevant solution no matter what cybersecurity regulations you are subject to.
In a recent study conducted by Security Awareness platform, KnowBe4, they found that the likelihood of an employee being phished dropped by 14.8% after the first three months of security awareness training, and continued to drop an additional 12.6% after 12-months of receiving training.
Outsourced IT Services
If you want to remain compliant with evolving cybersecurity regulations, one of the best ways is to partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Charles IT. We keep up to date with constantly changing regulations and help financial firms achieve full protection from cyber threats.
Charles IT offers all the cybersecurity solutions you need, whether your objective is to comply with industry regulations or simply boost your firm's cyber defenses. Contact our IT experts today to learn more!