The number one service that every institution in the banking industry can offer is not financial in nature; it’s not something that your customers can touch nor is it something that might be found in a bank brochure. In fact, before prospective customers solicit any of your other services, you must be able to demonstrate that you can deal in this important commodity: trust. And when you make this trust something with which you barter – when you risk the threat of a breach that exposes your customers’ data and jeopardizes their finances – you will not only erode that trust, but you may put your institution out of business. According to Security Magazine, in 2021, there was a 1318% increase in ransomware attacks in the banking industry. Data breaches have cost the financial sector $5.72 million. This is cause for alarm at financial institutions of every type and size.
New Reporting Rules for the Banking Industry
In response to the increasing frequency of attacks on banks and other financial institutions, new rules have been developed by U.S. banking regulators. As of November 2021, these new rules were implemented, requiring banks to report major cybersecurity incidents to the government within 36 hours. They must also notify customers of any incident that lasts more than four hours. Because of large payouts from companies, such as JBS Foods and Colonial Pipeline, cybercriminals have little motivation to stop. In fact, ransomware is only getting worse; cybercrime has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. And the banking industry needs help.
Prevent More Attacks with Managed IT
Given the increased threat level and the costly nature of successful attacks, every bank should evaluate their level of cybersecurity protection. To protect your institution, you need more than just firewalls and antivirus software. Working with a managed IT service provider can:
- Increase your alert response to attempted attacks
- Provide you with additional layers of necessary security that will help monitor for and prevent attacks
- Help you provide awareness training to your staff, to prevent phishing emails from succeeding
- Provide you with offsite backup and recovery options so you’re not forced to pay ransoms in the event of a successful cyber attack
The Cost of Banking Industry Breaches Is Measured in More than Money
The top eight data breaches in the past five years impacted 558 million customers. With the population of the USA currently at 329.5 million, this means that there have been enough financial institution data breaches to impact each citizen of the country one and a half times. In terms of economic harm, big financial institutions, such as Equifax, Experian, and Capital One, have deep enough pockets to cover the billions of dollars in losses incurred when they experience data breaches. When local or regional banks experience data breaches, however, it’s almost impossible to overcome the damage. These banks are either forced out of business, bankrupted, or bought out. It’s not just the fiscal impact of the breach – the ransom paid, the fines, the data recovery – it’s the loss of trust. People and companies don’t want to hand over their money or their personal information to a bank that doesn’t – or can’t – protect them.
Biggest Risks Facing the Banking Industry
MSPs offer a variety of cybersecurity solutions, tools, and education – along with continuous monitoring and protection – that can help you preserve the trust of your customers. Cybercriminals will always be lured by the temptations offered by financial institutions. While most banks have increased their level of security, conduct regulatory audits, and have started instituting policies requiring their customers to use multi-factor authentication, there are still enormous risks to be considered, including these major risks:
Mobile banking is becoming more popular, and nearly every bank can be accessed by a mobile device or through a mobile banking app. According to the Nokia 2021 Threat Intelligence Report, there was an 80% increase in banking trojans. All mobile banking apps had at least one high-risk vulnerability, either in the coding, the authentication protocol, or data storage.
Many banks have vulnerabilities on the websites that consumers use to access their accounts. According to McKinsey’s report, Ransomware prevention: How organizations can fight back, “75 percent of ransomware breaches begin with either a phishing email or a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) compromise” (data from Coveware), and “in 60 percent of ransomware cases, the malware ends up installed directly or via desktop-sharing apps” (data from Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report). Cybersecurity hygiene is crucial.
Many banks rely on third-party solutions to provide the backbone of their banking systems or customer portals. While it is common to rely on these third-party vendors, they must also meet the same cybersecurity requirements for banks to prevent risk.
Cryptocurrency introduces a new level of risk to the banking industry. Even that which is considered to be one of the most secure crypto apps, Coinbase, recently paid a $250,000 bounty to a security researcher who discovered a vulnerability that could have allowed a user to sell currency they didn’t own.
How MSPs Benefit the Banking Industry
While there will always be risks inherent in the financial sector, partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can help mitigate as much risk as possible. Reliable managed IT services helps you provide your customers with trustworthy banking services. Customers want convenience, but not at the expense of security. When you partner with an MSP, it’s easier to provide both. thinkCSC can offer banks and other financial institutions powerful solutions, including:
Agile Banking: Having a team of cybersecurity experts on hand means rapid, proactive responses to changes in the threat landscape.
Policy Development: We assist your financial institution with the implementation of comprehensive corporate policies that govern access to and use of data.
Employee Awareness: We provide ongoing employee awareness training to reduce the biggest risk to your data: your employees.
24/7 Monitoring: Cybercriminals don’t sleep and neither do we. With 24/7 monitoring, we can help you stay one step ahead.
Compliance: The banking industry is one of the most heavily regulated and scrutinized. With an MSP partner, you can more readily ensure that you meet the regulatory requirements governing your organization.
Improved Recovery: Be it a natural disaster or a cyber-attack, your MSP can help you recover more quickly and resume operations without impacting your customers as seriously.
Enhanced Security: From constant monitoring and maintenance to threat detection, your MSP helps thwart attacks on your network.
Half of all financial firms are unsure about the state of their security; nearly three-quarters of them don’t think they could recover data if they lost it. With a growing number of threats facing the banking industry virtually every day, partnering with an MSP must be a priority. Learn more about our banking IT services and get in touch. You cannot afford to wait.