Today, banking is seeing increased cybersecurity threats, and the need for solutions is more critical now than ever. Mobile banking is on the rise, as is remote work, creating many opportunities for cybercriminals to access sensitive financial information. The increase in cloud migrations in bank IT departments also opens more avenues to attack. Large amounts of data transfer every day between multiple devices, users, and repositories using a wide variety of apps, different operating systems, and networks. Banks must plan for IT security.

Planning for IT security in banking includes risk assessments, reviewing design controls, determining roles and responsibilities, developing policies and procedures, and training staff. Risk assessments are a measurement of the likelihood and impact of specific material threats. For each risk identified, banks should design one or more controls that reduce, avoid, eliminate, or transfer the risk to an acceptable threshold and identify the people and departments responsible for the complete overview of these controls. Policies and procedures would declare why and how the controls are to be applied, and responsible parties would be trained to fulfill their roles.

Three groups influence the success of this model. They include the Board of Directors, the Compliance Officer (or Committee), and Auditors. The Board of the Bank must cultivate a compliance culture that establishes good governance. Also, appoint a compliance officer, and allocate resources appropriate to the scale of the assessed risks. By setting this expectation, the Board establishes the critical importance of IT security. The Compliance Officer will implement, maintain, and report on the status of the program. At the same time, auditors will review the program periodically and submit written opinions on the program’s state and efficacy.

Business as Usual

Once the governance and training are complete, banks should establish routine oversight for the daily operation to include controls, reports, and compliance testing. The Bank should proactively investigate their network for weaknesses, adverse trends, advanced persistent threats, and policy violations. IT departments need to consider business operations and security as equally essential and facilitate both.

Daily IT security operations produce reports and incidents and identify, assess, and mitigate risks in real-time. A well-designed security department has the appropriate access, authority, and skill to react appropriately to situations as they appear.

Find, Fix, and Recover

No system is flawless, and banks should anticipate interruptions, including those that come from malicious actors. Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) must be reviewed, updated, and tested routinely to ensure that the bank can quickly react to adverse events. Audits, penetration tests, and near-miss readouts are also useful in detecting the most likely vectors for failure or attack. Identifying how, where, and why to improve allows banks to focus their budget and resource planning where it will be most effective.

Back to the Beginning

IT security in banking is a giant loop that begins and ends with the Board setting the tone and owning the outcome. While many other stakeholders are involved along the way, the Board ultimately must enable the business to be successful in providing IT security. When weaknesses are detected, or exploited, the Board positions the company to adjust, adapt, and grow to fill those gaps. Providing for IT security in this way is more than just an expectation; it is also good business. Consumers are quick to shun banks that fail to provide reliable security. So the Board should be careful to prioritize IT security as a business enabler, rather than as a cost center.

Virtual mobility solutions address many security concerns facing banks today. With virtual solutions, corporate data resides on enterprise-owned servers and never on mobile devices, protecting individuals and businesses alike. Should a device be compromised, the virtual connection disconnects, and so does the threat with 100% separation of personal and organization data. Hypori Virtual Mobility provides a secure, easy-to-manage, user-friendly solution to meet your IT needs. Attend Hypori’s Financial Industry virtual webinar to learn how we can help your company today.

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