Ransomware: Protecting Critical Data Assets
“Many ransomware variants now encrypt files, delete the original, unencrypted file, then create a new encrypted file, rendering traditional version-controlled backup processes ineffective in the process of recovering from ransomware,” says Andras Cser, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester.
To safeguard their valuable data, financial services providers should employ robust security measures. Security experts advise using multifactor authentication to enhance access controls, employing end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive data during transmission and storage, and implementing strict backup and recovery measures to minimize the risk of data compromise.
Phishing: Bolstering User Awareness and Protection
Social engineering attacks, particularly phishing, continue to exploit a common vulnerability within an organization's cybersecurity defenses: its users. Financial services companies are no exception to this threat. Countering phishing attacks requires financial institutions to adopt a multipronged approach. “Annual user education and certification and using browser alerts, secure web gateways and cloud access security brokers remain the most important defenses,” Cser says.
Implementing robust email security tools also can help filter out suspicious emails and identify potential phishing attempts. Conducting regular user training programs that educate employees about the dangers of phishing, how to recognize common tactics and what actions to take to prevent falling victim to such attacks is crucial. By enhancing user awareness and strengthening email security, financial services firms can significantly reduce the risk of phishing.
Compliance: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape
Financial institutions face rigid regulatory standards that govern their operations. Compliance is vital to avoid legal penalties and reputational damage. While meeting standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley and following guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology can be a challenge initially, Cser says, they offer a critical map to enhanced security. “Compliance mandates contain key requirements for data protection (encryption and access rights management), identity management (zero trust and least privilege), and logging/auditing (log aggregation, analysis, etc.),” he says.