Regulatory compliance is a major consideration in any bank or credit union's cybersecurity strategy.
Not only will financial institutions lose the trust of their customers in the event of a data breach, but they also operate within a framework of stringent regulations that govern how they must manage data. Some of the most significant include the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, USA PATRIOT Act and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
With so many different regulations to manage, many financial institutions turn to trusted IT partners such as CDW to provide security and compliance services. These services include:
In a penetration test, security experts assume the role of hacker, running creative, in-depth analyses to determine whether security controls are operating as intended. By attempting to gain access to corporate resources, these experts are able to find holes and weaknesses within an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure, providing valuable information about vulnerabilities before malicious actors can exploit them. CDW’s experts then use the information gleaned from the test to craft customized and prioritized cybersecurity roadmaps that shore up weaknesses and protect IT systems and assets. Often, the results of a penetration test help convince previously hesitant stakeholders within an organization (usually those outside of the IT department) that further investments in cybersecurity are warranted.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has established the Cybersecurity Framework for federal agencies to follow. The guidance for agencies applies to banks and credit unions as well. During a NIST assessment, CDW places cybersecurity experts onsite at an organization to gather in-depth information about the enterprise’s existing practices. These experts speak with representatives from various company departments, such as human resources and payroll, to better understand the organization’s IT processes and policies — as well as other safeguards that may or may not be in place, such as employee background checks — to determine the greatest sources of cybersecurity risk. Then, CDW’s experts create a list of recommendations, ranking each solution by what it will cost the organization and how much of a security gain it represents, to help reduce cyber risk in the most targeted and cost-effective manner possible.
When financial institutions bring in a partner such as CDW to configure new hardware and software — or to check on the configuration of existing solutions — they can be confident that they are taking advantage of all the cybersecurity features these tools have to offer, and that these systems are not exposing them to unnecessary vulnerabilities. Configuration services are helpful for optimizing the cybersecurity performance of firewalls, network switches, databases and other IT tools and systems.
Especially in complex environments such as banks and credit unions, cybersecurity is not merely a matter of deploying the right tools and letting them run. Experienced IT professionals must also constantly monitor these solutions, watching carefully for any anomalous activity and taking appropriate action when a threat is detected. Smaller organizations, in particular, often lack the staff resources to appropriately monitor and maintain cybersecurity tools, and therefore may choose to outsource these services to a partner with the expertise to keep the organization safe.
The number and sophistication of phishing attempts have increased in recent years. Further, research conducted by security provider Phishme indicates that 93 percent of phishing emails contain ransomware. Security providers can help banks and credit unions address these threats through services such as phishing intelligence and advanced user training.
No matter how carefully banks and credit unions work to protect their IT assets, breaches can still happen. When they do, it is important for these institutions to respond quickly and strategically, not only to root out the cause of the problem and prevent further damage, but also to fulfill their obligations to notify account holders of the breach and to preserve evidence. CDW works with partners that specialize in cybersecurity forensics and can help institutions rebound from incidents as quickly as possible. CDW’s experts can also help organizations implement disaster recovery solutions.
Concerned about compliance? Download the free white paper, "How Technology Helps Banks and Credit Unions Meet Regulatory Mandates," to learn more about:
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