The number of cyber-attacks directed at financial institutions of all sizes is continuing to grow and cybersecurity experts expect the trend toward increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks to continue. Community banks and credit unions are prime targets for cyber criminals due to the sensitive data they house. As consumers and businesses continue to use electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones to perform financial transactions online, vulnerabilities continue to increase. A cyber breach can be devastating due to the costly ramifications, not to mention compromised customer confidence and reputational damage.
As a result of this heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks, regulators are heavily scrutinizing bank processes to verify that these institutions can effectively safeguard sensitive financial information. While not yet a requirement, the FFIEC’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT) serves as the key guidance used to determine whether an institution is adequately prepared for a cybersecurity incident and in full compliance with federal regulations. In response, many banks and credit unions are now completing the assessment to assess their cybersecurity posture, determine their next steps to strengthen cybersecurity processes and better meet examiner expectations.
While completion of the assessment has proven itself beneficial, many financial institutions find the 100+ page assessment to be too cumbersome of a task to successfully manage and fully understand. As a result, they decide they need to find a more efficient way to complete the assessment, understand their level of risk and make improvements to their IT environment.
This was the case for Pembroke, N.C.-based Lumbee Guaranty Bank. To ensure his institution maintained compliance, Austin Maynor, Information Security Officer at Lumbee Guaranty Bank, manually filled out the CAT with the help of a spreadsheet, but quickly found this process to be an extremely time-consuming project to complete. He determined the bank needed a solution that could give them a better understanding of where they were in terms of cybersecurity preparedness and where they needed to be in order to maintain compliance.
Streamlined CAT Completion Solution
As a long-time customer of Safe Systems, the bank decided to implement the Cybersecurity RADAR solution, a cybersecurity product that combines compliance expertise with an Enhanced Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (ECAT) application. The solution allows staff to quickly generate reports, document notes and save examination results to review each year.
For Lumbee Guaranty Bank, Cybersecurity RADAR streamlined the process of filling out the CAT and helped the bank improve its cybersecurity processes. With the automated application, Lumbee Guaranty Bank significantly reduced the amount of time spent completing the CAT from days to less than 4 hours. In addition, Safe Systems’ evaluation of the bank’s responses helped clearly illustrate to the bank where they were in regards to compliance and baseline expectations.
“The Cybersecurity RADAR solution has been a great addition to our bank, helping us gain meaningful operational efficiencies while continuing to grow and strengthen our cybersecurity program. We are grateful to have a true partner like Safe Systems helping us navigate the latest compliance guidelines and effectively streamline our most important processes.”
For more information, download our cybersecurity case study, “Lumbee Guaranty Bank Streamlines Cybersecurity Processes.”