Financial services organizations can no longer afford to ignore the impact of technology on their bottom line. Mobile applications, web-based services and cloud resources are critical to meet client expectations and drive ROI. Yet banks also face rising cyber risk as malicious actors recognize the value in compromising financial networks and exploiting information technology (IT) vulnerabilities. Recent data suggests the global impact of financial cyber crime ranges from $375 billion to $575 billion each year. As a result, cyber security in the financial industry plays a critical role in defending current infrastructure and preparing banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to anticipate new attacks. Here’s how HALOCK can help.
“extremely helpful making sure all pen tests were completed in a small time frame.”
– Financial Services Consulting Company
Key Challenges in Financial Cyber Security
Financial firms are in a unique position when it comes to cyber security.
They can’t ignore the increasing need for robust digital frameworks that include on-demand services and cloud-based solutions, but the nature of personal and business financial data makes it a high-value target for attackers.
As a result, firms now face several challenges when it comes to financial services information security, including:
- Ransomware: If attackers can compromise networks and lock down banking data, firms may have no choice but to shut down services or risk paying the ransom. Because of emerging frameworks such as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), these attacks are on the rise.
- Remote Work Risks: Cyber security and finance efforts now face increasing risks from remote work. Here’s why: As more staff work partially or entirely from home, hackers have greater opportunities to hijack data in transit or compromise remote workstations that aren’t properly secured.
- Cloud-Based Cyber Attacks: The increasing use of multicloud environments can help banks better serve clients and manage disparate data sources, but also create potential vulnerabilities where cloud connections overlap. As a result, cyber security in the financial sector is now a top priority for companies as they look to balance the need for accessible data with the challenge of keeping this data safe.
Companies now recognize the value of information security in the banking and financial industry and are willing to spend. Experts predict global security spend to surpass $120 billion in just two years. Still, this growing market presents a challenge: Where are organizations best served by IT security investment? At HALOCK, we offer a range of security services designed to help financial institutions improve their cyber security posture without reducing productivity, including:
- Security Management: Our team of security experts can help finance industry organizations assess their current IT risk and develop strategies to minimize potential cyber security incidents.
- Compliance: Bank PCI compliance, GDPR compliance, HIPAA compliance, CCPA compliance, PATRIOT Act compliance — the list seems endless. HALOCK’s compliance teams streamline the process management and ongoing assessment necessary to meet compliance standards. PCI DSS v4.0 is now available, and transitioning to the new requirements will be significant. Understand what your compliance enhancements will entail. Review your current compliance to best enhance your current program.
- Penetration Testing: You need to be certain your network is secure. HALOCK’s financial network penetration testing services measure the effectiveness of current safeguards and recommend critical remediation and upgrades. Verify your networks, wireless, web applications, and employees are securing your sensitive data and private information. A Recurring Penetration Testing program can assess your safeguards throughout the year for a proactive security approach.
- Incident Response and Forensic Services: Incidents happen. When they do, banking and financial firms need to know everything they can to catch those responsible and prevent incidents from occurring again. HALOCK’s incident response process, management, and forensic services can help. Assess your network with a compromise assessment. The proper response to an attack can help minimize damage and further risk – get your team response-ready. Explore an ongoing program that gets in front of any potential threats or attacks with an Incident Response Readiness as a Service (IRRaaS) program.
- Mergers & Acquisition (M&A): As part of the due diligence process of an M&A, organizations must understand the risk and security profile of their partner or target company. You must determine what liabilities or risks can arise under the other company’s cyber security program. With HALOCK’s M&A program, we can help you through the entire process from pre-acquisition to post-acquisition to identify risks, remediation steps, and establish reasonable security.
- Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) /Vendor Risk Management – Ensure third-party partners are aligned with your organization’s risk controls. Vendors and contractors serve as an extension of your group. They represent you and should operate under your business requirements. A required best practice is to always conduct a supplier risk assessment to keep your vendors on point with your security posture. HALOCK can help build and manage a specific TPRM program for your financial services environment.
- Risk Assessments – Regulations require your safeguards be reasonable to your organization, customers, and partners. With many frameworks available, how do you establish your acceptable risk? The Duty of Care Risk Assessment (DoCRA) helps you define a reasonable security strategy factoring in compliance and safeguards based on your specific mission, objectives, and social responsibility.
- Risk Management Program – An ongoing risk management program provides continuous maintenance and insight on your risk profile and how to enhance your security. This comprehensive program enables you to prioritize your security investments while practicing reasonable security.
- Privacy – CCPA is the most sweeping legislation to date in the U.S. that concerns the protection of personal information. It broadens the definition of what constitutes personal information and gives California citizens greater control over what companies can do with their personal data. The California privacy law includes the right to exempt their own personal information from being shared or purchased on the open market. Understand the impact this change and other states’ requirements have on your organization. Know what private information you manage and where it is located to properly secure – conduct sensitive data scanning to ensure you have a current data inventory of sensitive information.
- Cyber Security Awareness Training – With many employees now working remotely, they are targets for hackers. Ensure they understand the potential threats they may experience and best practices to prevent cyber attacks on your bank, institution, or customer data. Security Awareness training will provide guidance on how to detect suspicious activity and what to do in the event of a security incident.
- Security Engineering & Tools: Ensure you have the proper infrastructure to defend sensitive data of your clients, employees, and more. Conduct sensitive data scanning, security architecture reviews and implement threat monitoring programs to proactively secure against cyber threats and minimize your risk. Ensure you have the required security controls like multifactor authentication (MFA) or web application firewalls (WAF). A consistent and steady review of your threat landscape is a best practice for your industry through a managed detection and response program (MDR) or our proactive Threat Hunting Program.
Financial information security is often perceived as a necessary expense — an unavoidable cost that financial institutions must bear to avoid legal ramifications and PR disasters. In practice, effective implementation of cyber security in banking can save money and empower banks to better manage and defend their networks. By leveraging HALOCK’s experts to create agile security strategies, banks, credit unions, and fintech firms can better prioritize IT spending and reduce technology sprawl. Discovering potential weakness across existing network applications and ensuring that current IT practices meet industry compliance standards is also critical. Our highly skilled pen testing teams can help financial services firms track down vulnerabilities in open-source and third-party components; while our compliance experts provide the critical oversight necessary to identify and remediate regulatory challenges. Finally, incident response and forensic services can help banks discover emerging attack patterns and track down critical risks within their organization — such as insider threats or misconfigured IT services.
“The team was fantastic, we could not be more pleased from our side. Testing was well planned and results really well documented.”
– Insurance Company
At HALOCK, we empower cyber security in the banking industry with purpose-driven protection. Our clients get custom-built solutions that meet both current needs and help protect against evolving threats. By combining prescriptive expertise and implementation excellence, we’re able to meld critical thought leadership with deep technical skill to find ideal balance between security spend and organizational imperatives. Establish reasonable safeguards based upon your mission, objectives, and obligations. Contact us today and discover how HALOCK can help. Develop a reasonable security strategy to address your changing working environment and risk profile due to COVID-19. HALOCK is a trusted financial services cyber security consulting firm, compliance, and penetration testing company headquartered in Schaumburg, IL in the Chicago area servicing clients throughout the United States.
Reasonable Security is Now Defined
The Sedona Conference – an influential think tank that advises attorneys, regulators, and judges on challenging technical matters – just released its Commentary on a Reasonable Security Test. The Commentary is the first document of its kind that provides the legal community with a clear definition of a “reasonable” security control.