4 Ways to Reduce Your Cybersecurity Risk
Financial institutions face a seemingly endless onslaught of cyber threats, and staying one step ahead of bad actors is a constant challenge. As a result, banks and credit unions must do everything in their power to keep their systems, customers, and members safe.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the biggest cybersecurity risks to your organization and provide practical tips for defending against them.
Recently, we hosted a webinar entitled “What Financial Institutions Need to Know (And Do) to Reduce Their Cyber Risk Exposure.” Special thanks to Ava Lucivero from WolfPAC Solutions and Steve Nelson from Wolf & Company’s DenSecure cybersecurity team for delivering a thought-provoking session full of actionable information!
4 Cybersecurity Risk Management Tips
1. Identify Your Cybersecurity Risks
As with any other aspect of risk management (and most of life!), awareness is the first step. You can only protect your organization from cybersecurity risk once you understand what you’re going up against. During the webinar, Steve spoke in-depth about some of the biggest threats keeping banks and credit unions up at night, including:
- Phishing & Social Engineering
- DDoS Attacks
- Data Breaches
- Lost or Stolen Devices
- Disgruntled Employees
Addressing these threats requires a comprehensive approach that involves deterrence, detection, and defense. An automated risk management solution can help streamline this process. The right tool will save you time and money while guiding your risk management program in the right direction.
Here are Two Important Questions to Ask Your Organization:
- Are we prepared to deal with the threats listed above?
- Do we understand the likelihood and impact of an attack?
These factors will help you determine your inherent risk scores, both qualitatively and quantitatively. As a result, you’ll be in a much better position to handle whatever the world throws at you next.
2. Implement Strong Controls & Leverage Technology
Identifying threats is only the beginning. You also need to take decisive action to safeguard against them. A robust risk management solution is essential for this process because there’s only so much you can do alone.
Powerful Risk Management Tools from WolfPAC
Tools like WolfPAC Pro and WolfPAC Essentials offer a list of recommended controls. Users can leverage this functionality to assess existing controls and develop a plan to implement missing ones. This way, nothing slips through the cracks.
- Enhancing controls may also involve investing in security and employee training to fortify your defenses. Over time, this approach leads to the implementation of more robust security measures and a stronger overall cybersecurity risk culture.
- In a day and age where the world’s biggest companies can be brought to their knees with just a 10-minute phone call, this is what every organization should strive for.
3. Inventory Your IT Universe
Maintaining an up-to-date inventory of all technologies, applications, and hardware used throughout your organization is vital. 360-degree visibility into your IT landscape allows you to delve into each component and understand where threats and vulnerabilities exist.
- Remember to pay close attention to mobile and web apps, which can pose vulnerabilities if not adequately secured. Ensure strong passwords are in place for these apps and create a comprehensive IT landscape inventory.
- In addition, outdated software can become a target for cyberattacks, so make sure your organization is patching and updating what you need and sunsetting what you don’t
4. Take a Proactive Approach to Vendor Risk Management
Let’s delve into your third-party relationships, a crucial aspect that some institutions tend to overlook. Some third-party vendors and partners are vital to your business operations. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain an inventory of these relationships, just as you would for your technologies and hardware.
Things can and do go wrong in the real world, including security breaches and data leaks. By establishing and maintaining a clear understanding of your critical relationships and the information they handle, you’ll be better prepared to address threats and protect your organization.
Inventory your vendor ecosystem:
Being proactive in cybersecurity risk management means regularly assessing all of your vendors and understanding the type of information they have access to.
- An inventory allows you to monitor these relationships and clearly understand which vendors pose the highest risks.
- Consider which vendors handle sensitive data or NPPI (Non-Public Personal Information).
This information becomes especially valuable when you hear news of one of your vendors falling victim to a ransomware attack. Knowing whether they store your data can significantly affect your response.
Solutions & Next Steps:
When it comes to managing cybersecurity risk, proactive protection is the goal and educating your IT staff and employees about key threats and controls is crucial. Automated risk management tools help identify and address threats, ensuring that the necessary controls are in place to safeguard your organization. By identifying risks, implementing strong controls, and maintaining an updated IT inventory, you can build a resilient risk management program that stands up to the threats of today and tomorrow.
Building or improving a cybersecurity risk management program may seem daunting, but you’re not alone. Solutions like WolfPAC centralize your data, promoting collaboration and proactive issue prevention.
Are you interested in learning more about how WolfPAC can help you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity? Contact us to start a conversation.