In 2020, 80 percent of firms experienced an increase in cyberattacks, and the pandemic was at the root of a 238-percent spike in attacks on banks, according to Fintech News. In a world of ever-increasing cyberattacks, does your bank or credit union have the appropriate security layers in place to effectively thwart these threats?
There are some proven, preemptive measures that financial institutions should take, including:
Effective Log Analysis
Logs record every activity and event that occurs on a network, providing valuable clues about potential performance, compliance, and security issues. But it can be challenging for an institution to analyze, manage, and tailor all the log data that it receives—which can exceed millions of lines in just a 24-hour period. Without sufficient data analysis tools, information technology (IT) professionals are severely limited. They have to depend on their own processing capabilities to manually analyze data, which can be a labor-intensive, mistake-prone task.
Effectively managing log analysis has become more problematic with shifts in the security landscape: the expansion of security features, increase in firewall complexity, rapid emergence of new security threats, and constant growth in endpoints. This creates a situation that no security team can effectively manage on its own without some level of automated log collection and analysis.
With this technology, firewall logs are sent to a device that deftly collects and interprets the data. Information is then displayed in a format that is more readable, searchable, and useful for security engineers. While this process can go a long way toward improving the gathering of raw data, institutions can do even more to enhance their log management by building in additional security layers through the automated threat identification.
Log analysis automation equips security professionals to more effectively receive alerts about current and possible threats. Many banks and credit unions have limited personnel and expertise available to analyze their vast amount of traffic logs manually. But automated log analysis allows institutions to maximize their resources by leveraging more advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based computing, and big data to collect alerts more efficiently.
Improved Education and Continuous Improvement
Staff training and education are also an important aspect of solidifying an institution’s security posture, and institutions can employ a variety of tactics to ensure their employees are better able to interpret and respond to alerts. Bank tellers, loan officers, and administrative staff all benefit from informative seminars, brochures, and other learning opportunities. Information security operations personnel can improve simply by calling on experienced colleagues to share their expertise in a more informal exchange of information. These combined efforts can help institutions minimize the number of threats and manage their operations more efficiently on a daily basis.
Financial institutions must also commit to continuous improvement in regard to their firewall security. While enhancing log analysis is not an exact science, there is value in institutions asking targeted questions to help determine the need for specific enhancements to help ensure that the most actionable and best information is being presented to the individuals who need to review it.
Integrating Advanced Technologies
Additionally, banks and credit unions should leverage next-generation firewall (NGFW) features and other advanced technologies – like dynamic threat feeds – to optimize their security initiatives, helping ensure they allow “good” traffic in and keep “bad” traffic out while maintaining critical processes.
NGFWs also enable financial institutions to perform functions beyond that of a traditional firewall, including deeper inspections of transport layer security (TLS) and secure socket layer (SSL) encrypted traffic. The practice of “sandboxing” to physically or virtually segment a system, network, or entire environment creates a secure location to test and neutralize potential threats.
Learn more about how your institution can incorporate the right security layers to combat today’s threats by downloading our “Improving Security Posture Through Next-Generation Firewall Features” white paper.