Cyberattacks on financial services companies are on the rise. In fact, a recent report that showed 70 percent of surveyed companies experienced an incident in 2020 alone.
Threats to your clients and, by default, your reputation, it makes sense that cybersecurity in financial services has become a top priority in the industry.
With the correct cybersecurity tips, you can protect the asset cybercriminals want most: money.
Along with increased threats, new protocols are emerging to protect victims of cyberattacks.
Financial companies and banks are now required by law to tell users if their data has been compromised and notify regulators within 36 hours of an incident.
As technology evolves, so do hackers. It's vital for business leaders to stay one step ahead, so here are six cybersecurity tips for financial services companies to keep their data protected.
1. Utilise artificial intelligence
When it comes to cybersecurity for financial companies, artificial intelligence (AI) is your friend.
You can use it to automate security efforts, analyse large quantities of data, and identify weaknesses quickly.
This is particularly helpful for companies without an in-house cybersecurity team, as AI allows you to stay on top of security maintenance and detect any suspicious activity as it arises.
Using artificial intelligence is also an excellent way to cover repetitive cybersecurity tasks without needing an employee for the manual effort.
Find a way to deploy secure robotic process automation (RPA) to save money and ensure your operations run as efficiently as possible.
2. Follow cybersecurity in financial services frameworks
Cybersecurity goes beyond firewalls and passwords; it is something that each team member needs to understand.
Establish a formal security framework and apply it at all levels of the business, training new employees from C-level executives to interns, and maintain ongoing education of best practices to keep data protected.
There are many frameworks available to help your institution manage cyber risk, such as The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Information Technology Examination Handbook.
This provides you with a list of security guidelines for you to follow which will cover all the protections needed to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
3. Apply multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) involves more than one defensive layer in place on your systems to confirm the identity of a user.
It drastically reduces the risk of a data breach as there’s a lower chance a hacker will be able to get through each of the layers of security.
When putting multi-factor authentication in place, there are three main forms you can use.
The first is passwords, passphrases, and personal identification numbers, which only you and your team should know.
You can also consider hard tokens, such as a USB key, or a soft token like a text message confirming the login. Finally, you may want to consider a unique biometric characteristic such as a fingerprint or face ID.
4. Continuous threat monitoring
A preventative cybersecurity tip is to continuously monitor any potential threats.
The act of threat monitoring involves looking into your systems networks, viewing the actions of those who have access to it, putting in stronger protections and preventing the damages of breaches.
Most damage is done when you are least aware of it and could take place over time, with data siphoned through back doors.
You need real-time threat monitoring day and night so you can detect indicators of compromise and take action sooner.
5. Make backing up a daily process
When it comes to cybersecurity in financial companies, your plan should include daily backups.
Security incidents can compromise or even corrupt your data, so it is essential to have a backup to ensure key information can be restored swiftly and with minimal disruption.
You should back up everything from spreadsheets and text documents to databases and financial files each day.
You can automate this process to initiate automatic data backups and ensure there is always a secure, external store of your company’s key information.
6. Create an incident response plan
No matter how secure your financial services company is, you still need a plan of action in case of a security breach.
This needs to be an organization-wide plan that goes beyond just frontline security analysts and involves creating a strong security culture that involves every employee.
You need to have planned for who informs clients, who needs to work on recovery and who the best contacts in the business are - this all saves time in the event of a breach.
Take a step towards security
Data protection should be a top priority for any finance company, and these six cybersecurity tips are a great place to start.
If you’re ready to take the next step with encryption solutions that make it easy to self-onboard and implement across your financial services company, Sealit is here to help.