Banking & Financial Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is vital to all businesses and organizations. But if there were a competition between sectors to decide where security was most important, the financial industry would have an excellent claim to the title. The banking and financial industry is a prime target for cybercriminals for obvious reasons -- access to information that allows them to steal money.

In addition to all the usual security infrastructure that needs to be in place to protect financial systems, both on-premises and in the cloud, more protection is required. The attack methods of phishing and brand impersonation, along with spoof and scam websites, are commonly used to try to trick staff and customers of a financial organization into sharing confidential and sensitive information. Steps must be put in place to detect malicious activity that signals immediate or forthcoming cyberattacks targeting financial organizations.

IntSights has the people and the tools to help any financial organization take a proactive approach to cyber defense. Our consulting teams can help develop a strategy for cyber risk protection that starts at the top of an organization (where it needs to be owned and driven) and flows down through all levels to every employee who may be a target for cyberattacks.

Protecting your brand, data, staff, and customers using IntSights External Threat Intelligence solutions and techniques encompasses several approaches, which are outlined briefly below.

Cyber Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is a continuous monitoring process that scans specific locations on the clear, deep, and dark web where cybercriminals are known to discuss and trade information. Proactively preventing cyberattacks before they happen is preferable to cleaning up any damage after a security breach has occurred. Cyberattacks don't happen in a vacuum. There are always clues and indicators of planned attacks if you know where to look. Cybercriminals leave traces on the public and dark web as they discuss and trade security information, such as spoof domain registrations and stolen login credentials.

The goal of CTI programs is to gather intelligence on cybercriminal activity so that indicators of compromise (IOCs) and indicators of attack (IOA) can be captured and used to produce actionable insights.

Some of the insights that CTI provides are:

  • Rogue domain name registrations that are similar to authentic ones and can be used for scams
  • Sites using IP addresses for suspicious websites that are similar to the organization’s legitimate addresses
  • Leaked employee credentials and other personally identifiable information
  • Chat room and social media conversations that reference an organization’s name
  • Unauthorized mobile apps designed to mimic official apps and fool users into entering sensitive information
  • Emerging vulnerabilities and exploits in applications used by an organization

The information gathered by a CTI system is used to provide actionable alerts to mitigate any potential or imminent attacks. The rapid increase in online shopping as well as annual spikes due to events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas encourage cybercriminals to increase their activity, and proactively defending against these threats is where CTI can help organizations avert attacks.

Digital Risk Management

The information gathered by CTI feeds into the design and actionable outcomes of a Digital Risk Management strategy designed to safeguard digital financial assets from attack. IntSights can help design and implement a plan to minimize the risk to financial sector organizations by using a four-tiered framework:

  • Map - Discover and map all digital assets to quantify an attack surface. Use the map as a foundation to monitor cybercriminal activity.
  • Monitor - Search the public and dark web for threat references to your digital assets. Translate found threats to actionable intelligence.
  • Mitigate - Automate actions to block and remove identified threats to digital assets. Integrate with existing security infrastructure.
  • Manage - Manage the processes used in the Map, Manage, and Mitigate phases.

Digital Risk Protection

Digital Risk Protection (DRP) solutions implement protections against the risks highlighted by CTI. DRP solutions are not merely databases of intelligence information. DRP platforms use intelligent algorithms plus multiple reconnaissance methods to find, track, and analyze threats in real-time. Using indicators of compromise plus indicators of attack, a DRP solution can analyze risks and warn security teams of potential or imminent threats.

The IntSights External Threat Protection (ETP) Suite is a DRP solution that provides all the tools needed to implement a digital risk management strategy. Deploying ETP will give financial services companies protection against the following risks:

  • Phishing attacks - the most common attack vector used by cybercriminals. Tracking phishing indicators such as registered domains, MX record changes, and DNS reputation can identify planned phishing scams and allow the takedown of impostor domains and sites. See: How to Detect a Phishing attack?
  • VIP and executive protection - spear phishing that targets real users within organizations is widespread. ETP can identify spear phishing plans and secure the digital assets belonging to VIPs, executives, and other staff.
  • Dark web visibility - most malicious cyberattack planning and activity occur on the dark web. ETP monitors all places where criminality is discussed and planned.
  • Fraud protection - monitors for illegally obtained financial and sensitive data auctions. This data is valuable and gets sold on the dark web for use in phishing and other attacks. Monitor the clear, deep, and dark web for your BINs, account numbers, SWIFT codes, and financial scams to identify and mitigate fraud campaigns before they can be mounted.
  • Leaked credentials monitoring - stolen login and other access credentials are a valuable asset for cybercriminals. Monitor the web for references to leaked credentials and take action when discovered.
  • Sensitive data leakage monitoring - leaked data is also a valuable item for cybercriminals. Monitor for discussions about data breaches and alert when any references to sensitive data are found.

Protect your Brand and Customers

Implementing IntSights tools and using our expertise to protect financial systems and data mean that both your brand and your customers are protected from cyberattacks. The ability to identify potential attacks that are targeting your organization and your customers allows them to be prevented before there is the possibility of a customer divulging any sensitive or confidential financial data.

See also: What Is Cybersecurity? , What is a Cybersecurity attack?

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