Guide to Absolute Security in Financial Services Organizations

Banking CIO Outlook | Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Changing technology dynamics and financial services institutions switching to cloud-based services has made the technology architecture vulnerable to attacks. In this scenario, financial services institutions should have a checklist to keep them resilient to new threats.

Financial services institutions should mold employees’ habit to approved file-sharing programs since these approved file-sharing programs offer integrated security features. However, employees are accustomed to the software tools that they often use. Personal sharing programs send information over a network, making it very easy for cyberattackers to intercept and hijack mission-critical data.

Financial service institutions should screen their third-party vendors. The comprehensive capital analysis and review (CCAR) is carried out annually in the top 30 banks in the U.S. The program aims to document to the federal government that banks should be solvent for another Great Recession (such as 2008 one). The financial institutions usually wait unto the last minute to hire third-party vendors for assistance. As a result, these third-party vendors are not adequately screened, and the chances of a rogue contractor are increased.

Financial services institutions should have “company-only devices” for all employees to guarantee all safety measures.

The financial services institutions must ensure that all network communication lines are safe for remote staff. The financial services institutions should use virtual private networks ( VPNs) between the laptop of the employee and the company’s servers and use double-factor authentication ( 2FA).  Passwords are still the main interest source for a cyberattacker. It is therefore essential that the financial institutions have a firm policy on passwords. The financial institutions could also consider using the RSA Safety Token and biometric technology to authenticate a remote employee completely.

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The financial institutions must ensure that all IT infrastructure is up-to-date. It is essential to keep this schedule regular and ensure that the duties are shared between different employees, not just one. Financial institutions should make such a checklist a ritual to keep its infrastructure secured.

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