3 Proactive Steps Financial Institutions Are Taking to Increase Security

Financial institutions have always been magnets for criminal activity. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that they have become one of the most high profile targets for cyber criminals. Cyber attacks on financial institutions are on the rise. Therefore, banks and credit unions of all sizes have committed significant resources to combating cyber attacks. However, this often amounts to simply plugging security gaps as they open up.

However, providing protection that can truly inspire customer confidence relies on more than just confronting issues as they arise. Banks and credit unions need to foster a culture of security. This will allow them to reduce the number of vectors of attack cyber criminals can use. High tech solutions certainly play a role in cyber security. However, there are many ways financial institutions can be proactive about the threat of cyber crime.




1. Educate Staff and Clients

As with any security-related issue, awareness is the first step. A cutting edge security system is no help if you forget to lock your door. One of the first things banks and credit unions should do is educate their staff and clientele about best practices. This might involve a short seminar about the protection systems in place that also explains how to avoid common electronic banking risks. It is important to remember that people who are educated about the risks are more likely to avoid them.


2. Protect Communications at the Highest Levels

Increasing cyber security means protecting communications at the highest levels. Moreover, board communications in particular can be a real vulnerability when it comes to data security. Not only do boards of directors deal with high volumes of sensitive information, they often do so remotely. That is, they rely on electronic communication tools to discharge their duties.

Therefore, board portal software providers like Aprio have become popular. This is because they provide an option for boards of directors to share and discuss board information via a secure portal. This makes their communications more secure and also more convenient.


3. Improve Infrastructure

The rate of change in a digital world is truly dizzying. Moreover, cyber criminals often exploit smaller financial institutions. Importantly, these smaller institutions do not have the same capacity for constant upgrading that the larger banks do.

Therefore, regardless of an institution’s size, upgrades to security protections need to be viewed as routine maintenance. As soon as new technologies become available, they need to be implemented. Cyber criminals are experts at exploiting gaps caused by out-of-date software and technology. So don’t let negligence make you a target.

A recent report from SecureList noted that the number of financial targets for cyber criminals in 2017 drastically expanded. What’s more, this pattern has continued into 2018. Cyber criminals are using a broad range of tools and tactics to gain access to financial institutions. Furthermore, there is evidence that there are even cyber attack service providers. These providers set amateur hackers up with everything they need to rob banks, credit unions, and even casinos.


Increased Security Will Require Proactive Steps

Fighting these risks means making a concerted effort to predict new problems before they arise. Moreover, it means creating a culture of security at every level of an organization. Proactive steps like education, improvements to infrastructure, and more secure communication channels can all help in the battle against cyber crime.