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Despite advancements in security technology, cyberattacks continue to be one of the biggest threats to the banking sector. With cyberattacks becoming increasingly complex over time, banks must now worry about fortifying their digital infrastructure and securing their customers’ data across various devices. From seemingly legitimate phishing attacks to highly sophisticated malware, there’s a wide array of attacks that banks must keep an eye on as they continue upgrading their platforms for better service delivery.
Still, safeguarding banking platforms against ever-evolving cyberattacks does not have to be an insurmountable challenge. Banks big or small can still protect themselves from cybercrime by knowing and implementing tried and tested security practices. This article will discuss what these practices are, and hopefully help your bank stay on guard against cyberattacks that can impact your operations as well as your reputation.
Safeguarding Banking Platforms From Cyberattacks
Evaluate The Risks And Loopholes
First and foremost, you need to look at your current infrastructure to see if it can efficiently run day-to-day operations while protecting sensitive data and assets. Ideally, your infrastructure must be intuitive enough to detect and respond to threats in real time. On top of that, your infrastructure must be able to proactively monitor your systems and accommodate necessary patching and configuration adjustments to address loopholes.
For this reason, your infrastructure must be configurable enough to allow upgrades that improve your security posture. That said, it might be ideal to enlist the services of a consultant to help you and your IT team assess risks and apply the right solutions to address them.
More than that, a consultant can help you and your team determines the best options for security tools, apps, and software that comply with international security standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. Aside from fortifying user trust and maintaining a good brand image, compliance with such standards helps you avoid spending hefty sums of money on recovery efforts and regulatory fees.
On a related note, it would help if you also emphasized security when it comes to payments. With more transactions going online and cashless, you need to ensure that your digital payments solution is fitted with features designed for information security as well as ease of use. A good digital payment platform is well-equipped to protect data across all endpoints, even as the volume of online transactions increases. With that in mind, your payment solution must have measures in place to fend off attacks from fraudsters and hackers looking to take advantage of penetrable systems.
Apply Encryption And Authentication Techniques
Apart from incorporating security measures, it would help to apply encryption techniques to further protect the data passing through your systems. Ideally, strong encryption algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) must be applied when communicating between servers and clients to prevent your most sensitive digital assets from becoming compromised.
Apart from encryption, you should consider fortifying your endpoints by applying multi-factor authentication in logins. Your login interface is highly vulnerable to attacks, so it’s important to have extra measures in place to keep the bad actors out. You can add layers of security to logins by using one-time passwords, biometric authentication, and secondary verification via an authenticator app, to name a few.
Lastly, review your bank’s account policy and ensure that it covers the use of cybersecurity measures as well as using best practices such as creating strong login credentials. Additionally, it may help to have a comprehensive account recovery policy to mitigate cases of fraud and identity theft. Besides helping prevent these crimes, measures such as account locking and recovery can go a long way to aiding customers whose accounts have been compromised.
Instill Cyber Hygiene Practices Across The Enterprise
At its core, good cyber hygiene is a whole-of-enterprise effort. No matter how sophisticated your tools and infrastructure are, your bank can still fall victim to cyberattacks if your staff is unaware of good cybersecurity practices. To start, make sure that your bank abides by simple practices such as using strong passwords, regularly making data backups, and updating software as soon as new releases are made available.
To continually reinforce healthy cyber practices, it would help to invest in periodic cyber awareness training for staff. Make sure that your staff can recognize social engineering tactics like phishing and that they can quickly identify suspicious links, websites, and account activity. Other good practices include avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi networks for work, removing external devices properly, and requiring proper admin permissions for downloading and installing software on company devices.
Have A Disaster Recovery Plan In Place
Disasters, whether they’re natural phenomena or human-initiated security breaches, can put a halt to business continuity and open the door to more cyberattacks. With your systems compromised, malicious actors can use the downtime as an opportunity to bypass your security fortifications. Even if your company has robust measures in place, it’s still best to anticipate things going awry so that your staff knows what to do to resolve any potential issues.
To keep your systems foolproof, you need to ensure that your bank has an effective disaster recovery strategy when the worst-case scenario hits. In case of system failure, it’s best to have staff guidelines and system redundancies in place for workflow consistency. It would also be ideal to have backups of encrypted data, preferably stored in the cloud or a physical device off-site.
Promote Customer Education
In addition to tech and staff training, you also need to invest in promoting cyber awareness to your broader customer base. To help your customers proactively protect their accounts, be sure to regularly remind them of cybersecurity best practices. These include, but aren’t limited to, checking the legitimacy of a website before handing over any personal information, keeping bank apps updated, and using strong passwords as well as authentication techniques. You may also want to remind users to install effective and efficient antivirus software and to avoid using your bank’s app or website when connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
Cybersecurity As A Joint Effort
As the banking landscape continues to evolve, banks should go the extra mile to ensure that transactions and user data remain safe across all platforms. While top-of-the-line cybersecurity tech certainly helps, you still need a knowledgeable staff and a cyber-aware customer base to keep cyberattacks at bay. All three need to work together harmoniously to keep security at the forefront of your banking operations.