Security You Can Take to the Bank

How Banks and Credit Unions Can Safeguard Data and Ace Audits

In today’s rough and tumble environment where hackers no know bounds, every financial institution, regardless the size, has to beef up security and remain ever vigilant.

According to recent surveys, 83% of the financial leaders who responded felt that data is their most important asset, and 79% said that having a strong technology infrastructure was critical to ward off cyberattacks. Unfortunately while most feel that security is a top IT budget priority, fewer than one in five believe they have strong security in place.

It shouldn’t be that way – nor does it need to be. Smaller banks may feel that they can’t afford to implement measures to detect and prevent security breaches. The truth is they can’t afford not to. Let’s look at why security is so important to financial institutions, and how even the smallest institutions can achieve their security goals without “breaking the bank.”

The Security Problem

The financial industry is one cyber attackers target most in the world. An FBI report stated that in 2014 alone, more than 500 million records were stolen from financial institutions through cyberattacks. In 2015, that doubled to over 1 billion records stolen. Cybercrimes are continuing to escalate, with ransomware schemes being a recent twist.

There is also a dramatic increase in security breaches from company insiders, either current or former employees — including managers and executives — all profiting from the theft of data. The price those breached pay is very real. The AVERAGE cost of security breaches to organizations in 2015 was $3.79 million – an increase of 23% from 2014. For a financial institution, the bad publicity and lack of consumer trust can be far more costly than the theft of the data itself.

And that’s from deliberate cybercrime. All too often scenarios like the one below happen:

Your employee doesn’t want to be bothered during work hours, so he refuses to interrupt his work for patches and updates. He never powers his computer down, because that would be too inconvenient when he comes to work in the morning and has to boot everything back up. Not being up-to-date with protection, that employee soon gets a virus. Someone in your staff that is already overworked has to go to the employee’s location to take care of the threat – and hope it hasn’t spread to other systems or compromised customer data.

It’s a massive drain on IT resources, in budget and man hours, to counter these threats. The good news? The right security and management solution implements and maintains strong protection to help prevent customer information from winding up in the wrong hands – and safeguards the budget while doing so.

The Right Management Software Simplifies Security Processes

There are solutions to help with risk management. When investigating software, the right solution will:

  • Consolidate processes. Some solutions help with part of risk management, but not others. You may wind up having to implement, learn, and maintain many packages – which is time-consuming and costly. The right solution will consolidate all the parts of risk management into one application, simplifying implementation, reducing the learning curve, and easing maintenance concerns.
  • Provide visibility over whole network. You can’t prevent security breaches for devices you can’t see. This is especially true of financial institutions with their many branches and ATMs. You need to be able to view and access all devices across the entire network, including laptops and tablets. More and more employees are working from home, or while traveling, so there is a need to be able to see beyond the network to off-network devices as well.
  • Centrally manage the whole infrastructure – even remote devices. Don’t send your short-handed IT staff to the location of the devices. The right application will “bring” the devices to you with one central control panel that operates from afar. This allows you to make patches and updates remotely – whether it is you or the device that is off-network. Avoid the rush into work for a late-night emergency call. Instead; fix the problem from home.
  • Ensure complete patch upgrades. Security breaches and performance problems are less likely to crop up in the first place with software updates and security patches done in a routine, timely and dependable timely fashion. Patches and software updates to maintain security should be automatically installed and reports sent to you informing you of the success or failure of the updates and patches.
  • Control passwords and access. Password-related breaches are the leading cause of data loss. The right solution lets you manage credentials from a centralized console. You should have control over access at the user level and through policy-based roles. You should have the ability to force expiration and changing of passwords. And any access should be automatically logged for monitoring authorized and unauthorized usage, and early detection of security breaches. Sound password and access management goes double for admins, who tend to share passwords when stress is high and time is short.
  • Send alerts of potential issues. The best defense is a good offense, which means being proactive. The right solution will alert you of suspicious or unusual behavior from devices or the network before they wreak havoc. These alerts and reports not only allow you to stop threats and react quickly to identified threats, but also provides a record of exactly what happened in a breach, so you can avoid similar disasters in the future.

Kaseya VSA to the Rescue

Kaseya IT system management and security solutions provide the protection banks need – and at a price they can affordWith Kaseya VSA you have visibility and remote access to all devices, laptops, and tablets – on network or off. You have real-time monitoring, so you know exactly who is using what, and when. Patching, updating, and other device level security measures can be done in the background automatically, so end user productivity is not disrupted. Backups and endpoint security can be conducted from the central web-based console, manually or automatically.

You have total control with a single package – including integration of certified third-party applications – from one single pane of glass. Protect your financial institution from breaches, viruses, malware, and other security risks – deliberate or inadvertent – efficiently, and do so cost-effectively, with Kaseya VSA.

In addition, Kaseya AuthAnvil integrates with VSA, enabling complete identity and access management in a single pane of glass.

Security management is the last of the series discussing the triangle of requirements – compliance, auditing, and security. You can read the past articles on compliance Simplifying IT IT Compliance for Credit Unions & Community Banks and auditing How Banks Can Stop Fearing the Auditto get the full picture of how Kaseya solutions combines all three to improve your efficiency and save you time and money.

For more information about how Kaseya VSA can help financial institutions manage IT risk, download How to Manage IT Risk Like a Big Bank (without a Big Bank IT budget) today!

To learn more about Kaseya VSA, get your free trial here today.

Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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