Cybersecurity risks for banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are everywhere because they present a large target area. With ATMs dotting their service area and retail branches filled with computers and peripheral devices, there are endless physical targets to protect. Servers, websites, core applications, communication infrastructure, and even end-user devices like mobile phones and tablets offer opportunities for bad actors to find their way in.

A well-designed IT strategy can manage most of these opportunities by patching and hardening the systems regularly, but there is a wild card that no IT department can truly manage: people.

People: The Opportunity of Choice

According to CyberDefenseMagazine.com, 91% of cyber attacks start by targeting one or more users in the organization. People are the target of choice for many reasons: humans make mistakes, they can be tricked, and awareness training can be uneven or ignored. People are the opportunity of choice mostly because targeting humans works. People routinely give up their user credentials and other important information voluntarily. People also open attachments and follow links from scammers who have largely relied on human error to commit six trillion dollars of online crime.

Most of this exploitation is through email, where criminals can reach out to anyone on the globe with a fake message designed to trick them into unsafe actions. This trend will no doubt expand across more platforms as the variety of devices with an internet connection rapidly increases. Each one of these Internet of Things (IoT) devices poses a new threat to manage and another way for humans to lose control over data.

The Damage

Security incidents have an acute impact on financial institutions. Unlike retailers or manufacturers where impacts are measured in lost revenue, or downtime, financial institutions face a snowball effect when they have a cybersecurity incident. The immediate damage of lost revenue or resources is just the beginning. Customers will leave and others will choose a competitor, investors walk away, there will be lawsuits for those impacted, and the reputational risks are huge. Once the financial institution is branded unsafe, even if the breach was simply due to human error, it will wear that label for a long time. This sometimes leads to the demise of a brand altogether, with financial institutions forced to change names to escape the lingering impact of a breach.

There is potentially even more damage to come. Regulators will review the incident that led to the breach and, if they determine that the financial institution acted negligently, there will be fines and prolonged reputational harm. The financial institution is the victim of the cybercrime, but, unlike other victims, they are viewed as responsible for the crime itself. With all of this at stake, financial institutions should explore ways to harden their environment so that it is “people-proof.”

How to “People-Proof” Your Financial Institution

The first step to hardening your environment against human-caused incidents is to understand the ways that people contribute to the problem. Training and security awareness are normally the focus of this effort, but they are never enough. Even a well-trained staff still has around a three percent chance of being exploited by phishing alone. People remain a weakness despite the massive efforts to prevent this weakness.

To truly people-proof your environment, you must source technical solutions to prevent the common ways people are exploited. For the rapidly expanding world of mobile IoT devices, this means finding a resource that is easily expandable to a wide variety of devices and platforms.

Virtual Mobility & Your Bank

Hypori offers one such solution. This virtual mobility solution is truly unique in the way it protects data and eliminates the human error element. Instead of relying on the behavior of the users, Hypori protects the data and the corporate network by keeping data off of the devices and preventing issues on the endpoint from crossing back to the corporate network.

When users have devices with Hypori virtual mobility solution enabled, they never pull the data to the devices. Instead, they view the data safely in the corporate environment. The data never leaves the corporate perimeter, and exploitation of the devices cannot replicate to the corporate environment. Even if the user makes a mistake, there is no impact to the corporate data. Hypori has made the biggest threat vector, mobile devices, into the safest way to view corporate data.

Read more about Hypori virtual mobility.

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