Banks Must Protect Their Most Valuable Resource: Information
Banks and other Financial Institutions play an essential role in the lives of their clients, far beyond their traditional function as a secure place to store money.. As that function has grown, so has the technology framework required to support it.
Direct deposit have replaced trips to the branch office, automatic withdrawals make paying bills simple, and quick money transfers between accounts make “Who’s paying the check?” easier than ever to answer.
In a society where the financial world can be managed from our phones, having timely transactions and securely accessible information is critical. Customers trust their banks to have an infrastructure that can deliver these, and banks trust Acumen Technology’s Managed IT Services to get them there. .
The personal information tied up with an individual’s bank account is incredibly sensitive. A scenario where this information falls into the wrong hands can have wide-ranging and potentially terrible effects on thata person’s life.
This means your clients are trusting you to keep them safe. One breach in your system can shatter this trust and send people looking for a new banking option.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The goal in protecting your customer’s information is to prevent problems before they happen. There’s not a single line of defense to achieve this. Instead, financial institutions must understand and use a multitude of safeguards laid out in Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidelines.
First banks need to understand industry standard scanning techniques, both internal and external, to identify potential vulnerabilities. Those scans produce reports that must be processed and turned into a remediation plan.
Also crucially important is to maintain up-to-date patching on all hardware and software. Vendors have a vested interest in plugging security holes, but if those patches aren’t consistently applied, they won’t help maintain your infrastructure. Along this same line is deploying and maintaining automatically updated anti-malware software on all workstations and servers.
Using encryption on your laptops and mobile devices ensures that a stolen or lost device doesn’t allow for lost information. Enforcing encryption on any confidential data that is transferring across a network, such as a VPN or Secure Email, is important for the same reasons.
Lastly, no matter how many steps you take, user mistakes can still open the doors wide open for a security incident or lost data. Providing your users with recurring training on good security, as well as running email safety campaigns that train them what to look for, will help prevent these costly mistakes.
Acumen Technology Managed IT Services for Nashville banks is committed to providing a stable, secure environment for your confidential data, allowing you to build AND keep the trust of your clients.
No matter the defenses in place, however, a security incident or outage can happen. Reacting in a timely, correct manner in these moments can mean the difference between a blip and a blow up.
Reaction starts with monitoring. A remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform will keep a 24/7 eye out for failing hardware, an out-of-date, or any of the hundreds of events that gone unchecked will lead to exponentially worse results.
Next is having a solution that constantly monitors the security events of your network and systems, making sure that a hacking attempt or virus infection is quickly addressed. Acumen Technology’s SOCaaS offering can provide up to 24/7 response time for all security related events.
The last component is having a thorough and tested plan. Your bank should know exactly how it will respond to any security or infrastructure thread via written policies that have been tested and vetted. Lines of communication during an emergency should be clear, and everyone should understand their place in the process.
At the end, your last line of defense is your ability to recover when something is lost. The current epidemic of Ransomeware attacks has made it more apparent than ever that a financial institution must maintain good, tested, and isolated backups of their data. Mal-ware isn’t the only risk, though. Natural disasters, hardware failure, or simply a mis-click of the Delete button will leave you wishing you had an UNDO button.
Acumen Technology often finds that companies thought they were adequately backed up, but after we review their systems it’s found that backups aren’t running, aren’t isolated, are missing some data, or aren’t being stored securely offsite. Trusting your backups takes an expertise to know that just because something says “Success” it doesn’t mean you are protected.
Almost as important is understanding what your Financial Institutions needs and verifying that the disaster recovery environment will actually provide it. Your bank may need to be up within 4 hours regardless of the disaster, but without a well-planned system the right disaster can easily lead to days or weeks without access to your customer’s data.
Work with an Experienced Provider of Managed IT Services for Banks
You hold your customer’s money in your hands, and anything less than perfection is unacceptable in their eyes.
A full audit of your IT system will expose any potential weak points, whether that’s a security flaw or an area that can be optimized.
Are you prepared for a potential system-wide failure? What happens if your power goes out for an extended period of time? Are there sufficient backups to your system files and programs?
These considerations might not affect your daily operations, but the absence of them in a time of need could be catastrophic.
Any mistakes are going to be costly for your financial institution and for your clients.
Experience informs every aspect of your business. For financial institutions, experience will help you confidently serve your clients and customers, as well as provide reference points for how to navigate difficult situations.
That same experience drives Acumen Technology, who has been providing managed IT services for Nashville banks for 20 years. We use our decades of experience — along with strict attention to new developments — to help you make the best hardware and software choices for your financial institution.