#cybersecurity #fintech #phishing
Nearly all cyberattacks are caused in part by human errors like clicking a bad link, downloading a corrupted file, or sending sensitive documents over an unsecure network. The implications of these errors are severe in the financial sector: over the past decade hackers have successfully managed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars. BCG claims that financial firms are 300 times more likely than other institutions to be attacked by cyber criminals. Essentially, opportunistic criminals are constantly creating newer and more sophisticated traps for businesses in finance, and those businesses are increasingly caught off-guard. Don’t let your team or equipment be the reason behind a serious breach; read on to learn about some clear, simple ways to effectively protect your business and your customers.
Run a Risk Audit
Start with understanding the risks to your network, systems, employees, and data. On the systems side, understand how information is shared and how data is stored. Make sure you’re aware of how many endpoint devices have access to your databases and central network; if your employees work remotely or in a hybrid model, that number could be greater than you realize. Understand the abilities and limits to your IT department, and how often they’re monitoring and updating your security systems. Further assess how security-literate your employees are: do they receive trainings and ongoing education on best practices?
While FDIC protections guarantee that consumers would likely recover at least some of their money in an attack, businesses and larger institutions are at higher risk of losing big. Additionally, the interconnectedness between financial institutions means that money loss isn’t the only risk. A 2020 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggested that a cyberattack on any of the top five most active U.S. banks could impact 38% of the American banking network. A security breach could threaten your business’ solvency and undermine its credibility.
Store Your Data Wisely
Just as banks evolved more sophisticated physical security systems when outlaws started holding up stagecoaches in the Wild West, financial businesses today need to evolve to have virtual security systems that match. Your security policy should start at the prevention level, building a strong combination of hardware and software for your endpoint devices and centralized network.
Particularly for the financial sector, it’s important to have clear processes for how your data is handled. Customer information needs to be encrypted and stored on a secure server, and access to that data needs to be closely monitored and regulated. It’s important to be explicit about what data your remote or hybrid employees can access, and how they should view and transfer it. Following a zero-trust model and implementing multi-factor authentication for the most valuable data is effective for minimizing errors that could come from an employee.
It's also wise to keep audit trails to track all financial transactions that occur on your server—not only is that good practice for reference and liability, but it can help quickly identify an suspicious activity, or find a compromised transaction that caused a breach. Being able to quickly identify weak points will help you respond and recover more quickly in the case of a breach.
Get Help Where You Need It
Your IT department manages a ton, but they’re often more focused on the daily demands that keep your systems running. It’s helpful to include an expert eye that can devote exclusive attention to your cybersecurity strategy and needs.
Synergy works with you to create a security plan. We’ll train your employees to identify risks and act with awareness. We offer penetration testing to give hands-on practice to your security system, and to proactively identify any weaknesses. With both planning and implementation, we help you to prepare for disaster recovery in case of a breach. We come alongside your IT team to bolster your valuable business assets and your reputation.
Operating from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for the last 50 years, Synergy is Central & Western New York's top Managed Service Provider for small-mid-sized organizations and global institutions alike. We bring together the best enterprise-level IT services, technology, and support to help organizations of all sizes accomplish great things. We partner with quality vendors like HP to bring you devices and local, personalized services to protect your data and keep your business on track. Contact us today to get the IT solutions you need.