Bank Cyber Security is an ongoing concern to many financial institutions. Due to the recent upswing in Internet fraud and other crimes, more banks and lending institutions are investing in cyber security for their networks. While it is true that the costs of cyber security do not go away immediately, smart institutionarians are implementing prevention methods that have a lower cost but more of a bottom line solution. As a result, banks are now required by law to regularly assess their cyber security posture, deter cyber crimes, and protect customer transactions. In this guide, you will learn five ways your bank can protect itself from cyber criminals and hackers.

Regular assessments. Every bank should regularly assess its network’s cyber hygiene. Banks are obligated to monitor all outgoing traffic, prevent hacking attacks, and detect and avoid fraud. To do so, banks must maintain backup data, conduct vulnerability assessments, and constantly analyze new threats. In addition, banks must comply with stated regulations, rules, and standards pertaining to data security.

Backward compatibility. To prevent tampering or unwanted access, the bank must be able to reliably return information that was intentionally or accidentally modified. The easiest way to achieve this is by making certain that data that was updated or erased is accessible to authorized personnel. For instance, an email that was sent from a customer’s computer containing invalid data or a virus infection may cause a bank to lose access to a particular customer database.

Effective controls. When customers make transactions with the bank, they should be able to access account information and transaction history easily. If a bank becomes aware that a particular customer is trying to gain unauthorized access to a particular account, the bank should take steps to stop the activity. For instance, if a customer fails to provide an account number when ordering online, a bank should stop transactions until the customer provides that information.

Bank Cyber Security

Compliance. Compliance with federal financial institution regulations and state laws will help ensure that bank cyber security is practiced to the letter. These laws and regulations include: Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Electronic Funds Transfer Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Identity Theft and Asset Protection Act. While these laws are in effect, banks should still work diligently to prevent unauthorized access.

Internal controls. In addition to following legal mandates, internal controls should also be in place. Procedures for maintaining appropriate safeguards against unauthorized access should be developed and periodically reviewed. Employees who access the bank’s computers should be trained on how to do so in a manner that does not violate company policy. Managers should be provided training on detecting and preventing information theft and, if possible, the theft of personal information. Procedures should be developed for handling employee fingerprints and other personally identifying information.

Tracking activity. A bank cyber security risk assessment should include tracking activities to identify people who improperly accessed information. This could include using surveillance cameras to observe employees accessing computer networks; installing stingrays and other technology to track Internet use; and obtaining permission from customers’ service providers to track what they click on. Stale or malicious websites could be removed by the use of software designed to isolate harmful elements and monitor computer servers.

Information theft. While it may not be the bank’s responsibility to protect its customers’ financial information, the bank must actively prevent its systems from being compromised. Internal controls should include measures to detect and prevent hacking. Procedures for performing identity protection procedures should be developed and routinely reviewed. External third parties, such as hackers, may become interested in a bank’s confidential information; therefore, it is important that this information is protected at all times. Finally, customers should be advised of the importance of regularly updating their bank’s anti-theft measures to ensure that it is well protected from external threats.

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