How Breach Assessment Services Help Financial Institutions

by Brad Garland

original.pngHow likely is it that your financial institution will experience a data breach in the near future? Can you even be certain that you haven’t already experienced a data breach? Most importantly, do you know how you would respond if you discovered that a breach had occurred? A breach assessment can help you answer these questions. What you discover could help you to develop a plan for dealing with future breaches, with the aim of minimizing the damage that hackers could do to your financial institution.

The Landscape of Financial Security

The financial industry is an attractive target for hackers, as it presents them with an opportunity to steal huge amounts of money or valuable financial data. In recent years, many financial institutions have fallen victim to hacking scandals, which have resulted in millions of dollars being lost. During the last couple of years, banks in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ecuador and the Philippines have all been affected by cyberattacks that have targeted SWIFT, a global interbank transfer system used by banks around the world.

Although no bank in the United States has yet experienced a major hack, experts are worried that a serious data breach could happen in the near future. This has led the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to propose regulations that would force banks to adopt tougher cybersecurity measures against hacking. The message from lawmakers is clear: Banks need to take action now to protect their customers from losing money or sensitive data in a major cyberattack.

As a bare minimum, you need to ensure that your financial institution remains up to date with all the latest regulations affecting the financial industry. However, it’s a smart move to stay one step ahead of your competitors in terms of the protections you can provide against a data breach. A reputation for strong security is beneficial for any financial institution operating in today’s risky financial landscape.

What Does a Breach Assessment Entail?

A breach assessment is a very useful tool that can help financial institutions to ensure they achieve regulatory compliance. It is a security test that simulates a breach in order to see how well an organization’s security systems are able to respond to it. By testing the system’s response to threats that are delivered via a file or via the Web, a breach assessment can expose holes in your company’s security. Once you understand where these holes are, you can take action to plug them and therefore prevent hackers from gaining access to your systems.

How Breach Assessment Services Can Protect Your Financial Institution

As a responsible financial institution, you are doubtless aware of the risk of a cyberattack and the need to protect your company against a major breach. However, you may not know how to begin improving your security systems. A breach assessment can identify the parts of your system that currently have the weakest protection and are therefore the most vulnerable to attack. This allows you to focus your attention and your security budget on tackling the most pressing security problems first.

How Can a Red Team Help Your Security?

A red team is a group of independent experts that challenges a financial institution to improve its security systems. By attempting to hack into a company’s systems, with prior permission, a red team can demonstrate how easy or difficult it would be for real hackers to gain access to sensitive data.

Red teaming can be an extremely valuable component of an overall cybersecurity audit. It clearly shows up any weaknesses in your security systems that hackers could exploit. When you understand exactly what a determined hacker would do to gain access to your system, you can take steps to block those actions and keep potential attackers out.

Many financial institutions are embracing red teaming and breach assessments as part of a new, proactive approach to cybersecurity. Rather than waiting for the next cybersecurity threat to arise, organizations that use these methods attempt to predict the hackers’ next move. This allows them to remain one step ahead at all times, which can be the key to avoiding becoming the next organization to be hit by a major hacking scandal.

Breach Assessment Services

If you want to learn more about how breach assessment services could help to protect your financial institution, get in touch with Garland Heart today. As independent security consultants, we can carry out breach assessments that provide a full picture of your current security situation and flag up any weaknesses that could leave you vulnerable to attack.

It’s important to remember that breach assessment is not a one-off event that will secure your institution’s regulatory and virtual compliance forever. Instead, it’s something that needs to become a regular part of your security processes, along with regular penetration testing and comprehensive security reviews. Garland Heart can help you to set up an ongoing security protocol that keeps your financial institution safe over the long term. Contact us today to find out how partnering with a team of independent security consultants can help to protect you and your customers.