How to protect against hacking: Tips for companies

How to protect against hacking: Tips for companies

Against the backdrop of constant hacking of cryptobirth and data leakage of banks, many users and companies remember how important cybersecurity is. If you decide to create an Internet bank or any other IT system, it is not enough to think about the convenience of the client, it is also important to take care of security. We tell what will help to achieve this. Nowadays, small banks and credit unions go on the Internet to communicate more effectively with the consumer, but they often have neither a proper understanding of security nor clear protocols for developing and operating such systems.

In 2005, there were less than 200 serious hacks in the United States, and in 2017 there were already more than 1,300. The business and medical sectors suffer from such threats, but the number of incidents in the financial industry is increasing. It is important to remember: if you decide to create an Internet bank or any other IT system, it is not enough to think about user convenience, it is also important to take care of security.

To instill safety literacy in a financial institution, it is important to invest in the training of employees at all levels, as well as shareholders and partners of the company, as well as take preventive measures. Create an active, not reactive environment.

No need to wait for hacking to think about creating a reliable cyber security system, because this is not a temporary problem, but an everyday task that every employee of an institution should take seriously. Developing such an attitude is the first and very important step towards creating a digital security culture. Emily Larkin, Sageworks’ leading information security specialist, suggests starting from the top, with company management and board members. Larkin writes:


“In order to attract the attention of such people, they will have to draw a picture of the consequences of a possible incident, and I’m not talking about intimidation – only an understanding of the realism of the threat can lead to the fact that the people responsible for the growth of the company and its financial performance will learn something in this area “.

Information security is not limited to the activities of the IT team, and you cannot solve all the problems with a browsermauer. Larkin explains that employees at all levels need to understand what the financial consequences of hacking may be, what the threat to the organization’s reputation is and how vulnerable the company is to criminals at the moment.

Coordination of positions with suppliers

The acquisition of any software for the company is an important step, and not only from a financial point of view. The clients of the organization expect it to keep their data safe, and the company itself should follow the same approach with respect to its partners.

Make sure your suppliers adhere to the same cybersecurity standards that you yourself are. Consulting company McKinsey & Company recommends holding regular conversations with suppliers, during which it is necessary to agree on the level of security necessary to protect customer information. During these discussions, you need to develop clear data recovery and damage compensation plans, as well as to determine exactly how your data is used in a third-party company.

Banks are considered to be the most protected type of organization, but this is associated with serious responsibility for violations in this area, so it is important to choose reliable suppliers that will not jeopardize the trust of your customers and will not interfere with the implementation of all legally required procedures.

Employee and customer training

Education is practically free protection against cyber attacks, because often people can become victims of intruders simply out of ignorance. Hackers are constantly attacking banks, including phishing in the form of fake emails or even a whole fake website.

In order to better prepare your employees for possible phishing attempts, Larkin proposes to conduct phishing exercises in the institution. For this there are ready-made tools that allow you to send phishing emails, track those who open them, download attachments and follow links. Such exercises also allow you to implement and work out a hacking response plan so that employees who notice suspicious activity immediately report it.

Perhaps the attacker masks his messages to users under the letters of your bank. Will recipients be able to distinguish your emails from fake? On the company’s website you can post materials to help customers identify phishing attempts, and they can list the most popular methods of fraudsters. This approach will not only reduce the likelihood of a successful attack, but also increase customer confidence.

Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity information system is a complex matter, and it is important that every person, coming to work, should strive to protect company and customer data. Financial institutions need to understand that achieving this goal requires a flexible approach and does not always mean purchasing more software — it is often more important to tell employees about these problems, train them using advanced methods, and organize preventive measures.

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