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3 Key Guidelines for CISOs in the Era of the Cloud

Posted by Gaye Connell • May. 26, 2016 • 0 Comments

Before the cloud, most business chose to store their data on internal servers they managed. Because of this, accessibility typically was limited to helping reduce how vulnerable a business's information was to hackers. With the inception of the cloud, companies have poured billions of dollars into this technology and the corresponding cyber security features. As information is instantly sharable anywhere in the globe and potentially no longer locally managed, this exposes vulnerabilities for both users and their companies. As the needs grow for access and data management including these enhanced security features, it was the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and his or her team that were delegated with the task of information security, storage, and data protection.

From the vantage point of the CISO, a growing concern may stem from not just having an increased budget for cyber security concerns, but having solutions that do not constrict operational efficiency. Problems exist with ill-fitting security products that aren't tuned to meet the customers or business needs. To help CISOs target the most important cloud security features they need and to give them the protection they require for their compliance departments, best practices and regulations, they may need the help of a third-party agency, testing and process improvement. The goal is balancing security with functionality.

Here's how to accomplish just that.

key-guidelines-image.png

 

1. Utilize automation and third-party security agencies

With increased concern over information that's shared online, the CISO should have their security team work in conjunction with a third-party security agency and cyber security consultants that can help them to identify potential security gaps, ensure and/or increase efficiency and help minimize security breaches and threats.
 

Information Security Benefits

Garland Heart is a third-party agency that offers security personnel, tools, and industry perspective to help identify and reduce threats while focusing on increasing technology support for stronger risk management. The benefit in using an agency like Garland Heart is it increases the effectiveness of your CISO and the information available, while ensuring the IT department can focus on operation needs.
 

Security Policy Control Panels

Automation can be key in addressing the speed and sophistication of hacking incidents. It can be important to automate the security policies and utilize a control panel for observations. However, one must ensure that automation is set appropriately and tested with some frequency to ensure controls and systems are functioning appropriately. Furthermore, a consistent policy should be in place logically and on paper to ensure that any changes in infrastructure or framework align with the ecosystem of your cloud security program. A qualified external firm can help validate the controls in place and should be utilized on a frequency that aligns with industry best practices and regulatory expectations.
 

2. Don't think restriction – give permission

permissionCISOs can be overly concerned with locking down their data so it can't be stolen, and that's where security analysts can help. With new cloud-based technologies, security analysts and third-party agencies that focus on layered controls, integration and ease of use with third-party security tools, and enhanced control panel features can thereby allow the CISO to have the best of both worlds working in conjunction with security analysts to minimize vicious attacks.
 

Working in Partnership to Protect the Infrastructure

Garland Heart is ideally suited to help businesses meet the expectations of their security departments. By bridging the gap of needs while identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities, the agency can streamline complex compliance and risk management issues and simplify them for the CISO and Management. The CISO can then provide a layered and secured environment in an integrated manner with continuous and consistent testing, thereby increasing return on investment, securing the infrastructure's existing tools, and reducing the need for further compliance-related costs. This can provide the most cost savings during potential events by being able to identify and restrict incidents reducing widespread breaches and data loss.
 

Using Honeypots to Improve Efficacy

A feature that innovative organizations are tapping into is the honeypot and these can be via high interaction or low interaction. This is a specific tool that uses isolated areas to elicit exploitation and lure in a potential attacker into a quarantined area. The deception network can then help to improve the layer of detecting attacks by logging in the activity to better decipher the types of attacks that are occurring and minimize the ability of the threat from gaining access to the business's data center.

A benefit to using this feature is it helps to give the advantage of a genuine OS service and application, thereby, mirroring a genuine user experience where an attack can take place. This insight, with the help of a third-party security team, can then provide data about compromised areas to develop the proper defense.
 

3. Keep in mind the basics of good security

To put together a cloud security system that works well might seem like a Herculean feat, but it can be accomplished. CISOs and their companies may see it as a daunting task that's being stitched together, but remember, this is just one part of the security system that is in place. It is still important to keep in perspective the basics of security including threat detection, routine software updates, strong access controls and vulnerability management, but it's also important to focus on consistency with all of the technological advances and to scale them accordingly.

Forward thinking CISOs know that every step matters as it relates to focusing on best practices, while working in an ever-evolving technological environment. It's also important that third-party agencies meet the needs of the firm based on what the CISO's business requires. Look for third party agencies that will provide security control capabilities and also offer flexibility to help as the business's cloud strategies evolve over time.

Garland Heart offers dynamic security tools and resources that can test and validate your infrastructure and vendors, thereby giving the CISO all the tools they need to mitigate attacks and incase the ability to take immediate action. With their customized solutions, they can tune into a business's diverse and unique needs to minimize threats, increase return on investment and help a business to protect their infrastructure.

Garland Heart has helped businesses in multiple regulated and non-regulated industries with their cloud infrastructure security features. At the forefront of cloud security, they work to validate the tools that businesses need to increase innovation in the workplace. With consistent results, Garland Heart has developed a thorough understanding of cloud features, the demands of users and IT departments, and ways to support the needs of CISOs and their firms.

Contact Garland Heart today to learn more about how your organization can protect itself in the cloud era.
 
Info Security Cheat Sheet

Topics: Info Security, Corporate

5 Benefits of Having a Proactive Incident Response Plan

Posted by Gaye Connell • May. 20, 2016 • 0 Comments

As technology changes and evolves, staying up to date means continuing to grow, develop, and improve practices to mitigate risk. This leads to multiple methods available for securing and protecting your environment, and, unfortunately, expanding opportunities for security threats. No matter how hard you work, even the best network in the world isn't immune to incidents.proactive-plan.jpg

Taking a proactive approach to security is often a big part of standing fast against threats. Too many companies take a reactive approach, creating strategies of attack if a breach occurs. Unfortunately, this leaves your systems vulnerable; the mindset of "if" versus "when" can put blinders on, obscuring an ability to foresee danger on the horizon. A proactive incident response plan takes an alternate stance, admitting that the possibility of a threat is always lingering and thus focuses on preparing a system accordingly.

When used appropriately, a proactive response plan aims to use electronically stored information efficiently to reduce risk while maximizing an organization's ability to gather digital evidence. By executing a proactive plan versus a reactive plan, you can implement the measures necessary to benefit your business. This can also help you increase reaction or identification time for a potential event.


Crime Prevention

One of the biggest assets of an effective proactive incident response plan is a better ability to prevent crime. Cyber threats are, unfortunately, exceedingly common, especially when your company has something valuable to offer, like healthcare information or personal financial records.

Rather than living in fear, a proactive plan makes it easier to see when these kinds of threats are forthcoming. Thinking proactively offers numerous advantages to your crime prevention strategies, allowing you to better detect malicious activity and abnormalities. The more you know about your environment in a normal state, the quicker you will be able to identify an incident in the early stages. Rather than striking back after an assault has been initiated, you can do your best to stop an attack in its tracks when appropriate proactive measures are in place.


Reduced Investigative Costs

Facing a cyber attack comes with many necessary tasks, from investigating the source of a breach to implementing additional security measures to prevent current weaknesses from leading to further complications. Companies who do not prepare for the enduring possibility of attack are often shell shocked when something happens, making the investigation process longer and harder than ultimately necessary, but those who do are much more likely to be ready to take action.

A proactive incident response plan assumes that incidents are always possible, which makes acting on an issue much easier. Engaging with or, at the very least, identifying reputable outside resources can help reduce the price and turnaround time of negotiating during an incident. In addition, you won't lose any time looking, vetting, and contacting investigative agencies; instead, you'll be ready for anything at the first sign of trouble. No one wants to keep investigative resources on speed dial, but when something happens, you'll be glad the connections are there.


Targeted Security Monitoring

When you aren't expecting an attack, a surprise problem can create an internal panic, forcing you to channel all of your resources into figuring out what happened. This may seem like a good use of time and energy while in the midst of fighting back, but in reality, all you're doing is leaving yourself vulnerable. When an organization is reacting to an incident, security controls are somewhat limited, which makes it more likely that an additional problem can catch you unawares while you're distracted by what happened.targeted security monitoring

By using a proactive approach, your company has a better opportunity to implement targeted security monitoring that can identify many types of threats before they increase in severity, providing you with an opportunity to mitigate future problems. When you're expecting an attack, you can put a game plan in place for how to respond to a crisis while still staying on top of current security practices.


Confidence of Clients and Investors

If you were looking to invest in a company or hire a company to provide services for you or your family, would you trust someone with a history of bungled security issues? How a business responds to a breach can be a huge deciding factor in public perception and consumer trust, whether creating a responsible persona or highlighting procedural failures. It only takes one publicized problem to seriously harm a reputation, making your response plans extremely valuable.

With a more proactive plan in place, organizations are better able to respond appropriately to incidents. By implementing a higher level of "security maturity," it's possible to grow investor and client confidence, both in security and across the board. A proactive plan can help reduce reputation risk during and in the aftermath of an incident, putting your company in a much better overall position.


Avoidance of Penalties

A security breach can feel like your world is crashing down around you, but some problems aren't exclusively internal. Depending on the nature of your company and the kind of incident in question, outside authorities may require involvement. Law enforcement agencies may request the immediate release of any electronic info or related data at any time, and if you don't have a plan in place for organization, there may be additional trouble on the horizon.

A proactive incident response plan lets you make necessary information readily available, allowing you to avoid any legal penalties by presenting forensically sound data quickly and efficiently. A reactive plan doesn't afford the same flexibility, forcing you to collect information while in the midst of managing an unforeseen situation. This can seriously interfere with your security practices and procedures, taking eyes off of your network and wasting time that could be devoted to rebuilding defenses.

Rather than building the wall higher and higher in an attempt to stop a security breach through reactive planning, a proactive plan can be the asset your company deserves. When you want to do right by your business, the proper professional resources can be a major advantage. Contact Garland Heart today to learn more about how you can implement a proactive incident response plan to increase the effectiveness of risk management while safeguarding your business against attack.
 
Info Security Cheat Sheet

4 Essentials Every Company Needs for an Incident Response Plan

Posted by Gaye Connell • Apr. 11, 2016 • 0 Comments

Behind nearly every cybersecurity breach in recent years is a business or organization that was left to grapple with the fallout. Indeed, organizations that suffer a major security incident can end up spending tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars on remediation costs, fines, damages and other related expenses.security breach incident response

However, even major breaches can be dealt with effectively when the affected organization has a formal incident response plan, making it one of your most important risk management solutions. Here are four key components of every good incident response plan.
 

Essential #1: Understand the full scope of the breach before responding

Once a cybersecurity breach is detected, it can be easy for organizations to resolve the immediately visible issue, then simply move on. Organizations often don’t effectively investigate the endpoints of the breach, or even what other systems may have been impacted. This makes it impossible to truly understand the scope of the breach, which is critical to formulating an effective response, and ensuring that your network is truly secure once the incident is resolved.
 

Essential #2: Involve your legal team immediately

Most security incidents don’t have legal repercussions, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to always seek legal advice when dealing with potentially sensitive information. While most breaches don’t require a legal response, it’s always a possibility, so it’s better to remain safe than sorry.
 

Essential #3: Ensure you’re communicating effectively and responsibly

Effective communication is crucial when it comes to how your organization is perceived by the outside world. If you release information that later turns out to be untrue, or fail to release information that should have been disseminated, it can look from the outside like your organization doesn’t have control of the situation.

Accordingly, it’s important to have a formal post-incident communication plan that lays out explicitly who’s responsible for conveying information, especially to those you’re legally obliged to notify, like anybody whose personal data was compromised.
 

Essential #4: Have a properly staffed response team

The results of any post-breach investigation are only as good as the expertise of those performing it. You need to make sure you have the right people investigating the incident, and the team as a whole should have a comprehensive mix of deep technical and IT knowledge, legal knowledge and human resources information. Make sure you have your team, outside resources, and plan in place before the breach that identifies what situation calls for what type of expertise.

By crafting an effective incident response plan, you can ensure that your company is always prepared to deal with the unexpected and prepare for future cybersecurity concerns. 

Contact Garland Heart today to find out how your organization can improve its incident response plan.
 
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Topics: Risk Assessment, Security

Throwback Thursday: Revisit Old Viruses at the Online Malware Museum

Posted by Gaye Connell • Apr. 7, 2016 • 0 Comments

In these times of mega-hacks and massive data breaches, technology risk assessment has become a fact of life for every business. In comparison to automated botnets, the “good old fashioned” human hacking of yesteryear seems quaint, even a little nostalgic. Do you remember the malware and viruses from the 1980s and 90s? The Online Malware Museum does.malware

A Trip Back to Simpler Times

The Internet Archive has long performed its mission of retaining copies of our internet history. As it turns out, that preservation instinct even includes viruses and malware.

At the Malware Museum, the archive presents a curated selection of nearly 70 destructive programs and routines, mostly viruses, with a bit of malware thrown in for flavor. The Archive’s coders have carefully removed all malicious code from the selection, leaving only the text messages and simple (once so ubiquitous and annoying) low-bit graphics that were once the cutting edge for hacker “trolling.”

After loading a simple DOSbox emulation module, visitors to the Museum can see what messages they might have received after a successful hacking on an old Windows 95 PC, or even older.
 

A Prized Collection

In keeping with the theme of simpler times, when hackers were motivated more by notoriety and a sense of the hunt than mercenary or political zeal, many of the exhibits could be termed outright charming.

Consider the SKYNET.COM virus, whose friendly missive, “Don’t be afraid. I am a very kind virus.” is only belied by the text heading “Terminator Message” above. Even its threat is kindhearted, as it warns, “I will let your computer slow down. Have a nice day, goodbye.”

The museum even offers visitors an insight into the prehistoric past of the memes that now dominate the internet. At the exhibit for the malware software Q FRODO.COM, the hacker exhibits the mix-and-match meta-commentary that’s so common in today’s meme world, with nothing but a flashing marquee proclaiming “FRODO LIVES!” in a mash-up reference to both Lord of the Rings and the death of Tupac Shakur.

Even nationalism takes it turn in the spotlight, as the malware ITALIAN.COM displays a 16-bit Italian flag overlaid with the declaration, “ITALY IS THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.”

Visitors can even see the fetal form of the “V for Vendetta” meme that took place a decade before the movie’s release, as malware Q V SIGN.COM displays a simple graphic of the eponymous V logo.

Charming as the museum is, visitors can be forgiven for deciding that an exhibit of today’s malware and viruses would be much less friendly. Contact Garland Heart today to find out how you can keep your network safe in today's (not-so-friendly) cybersecurity landscape.
 
North Texas Bank Cyber Security Case Study

Topics: Webinars, cybersecurity, Legal

How to Retain Your Information Security Team

Posted by Gaye Connell • Apr. 5, 2016 • 0 Comments

Acquiring talented IT security professionals is a big task for any organization, especially considering the rapidly growing skill and generation gap in cybersecurity. In fact, the only thing that’s more difficult than acquiring highly skilled employees is figuring out how to retain them once they’re hired. This is particularly true given the highly competitive nature of the IT security industry, which means there are always other opportunities for growth and even offers for higher compensation waiting in the wings.information security team

For that reason, your biggest “selling point” to your organization’s own employees is finding a way to offer all of those benefits to them in-house. Along with competitive compensation, your company also needs to provide a stimulating and productive work environment, and plenty of opportunities for your IT professionals to learn new skills and work on challenging new goals.

Here’s how you can accomplish just that.
 

Outsource When Appropriate

One of the best ways to improve the “quality of life” at your workplace is to outsource the type of repetitive, mundane tasks that can become a drag on a highly skilled IT professional’s day. Routine tasks like penetration tests and vulnerability assessments can be entrusted to qualified third parties like Garland Heart, and vendor management companies can handle much of the “housekeeping” required by an office environment. Saving the challenging, stimulating work for your employees ensures they’ll appreciate their position more.
 

Location, Location

When it comes to retaining talent, your office location is an important tool. Organizations that maintain offices outside major cities have higher retention rates due to lower local competition. Similarly, locating your office near a university ensures a steady pool of young and eager new applicants.

Whether it’s cyber security consulting or simple network administration, you should seek to find the locational sweet spot that ensures you can find and retain the best employees.
 

Culture and Training

Maintaining an engaging company culture is critical for boosting your retention rates. For the best success, start from the bottom up by making sure that each individual team develops its own culture of growth and engagement, as well. 

Offering training programs is a great way to establish a vibrant company culture, and paying for your employee’s expenses for security certifications and other programs sends the message that you’re invested in their personal professional development. Don't forget that the culture needs to be supported from the top down.

Contact Garland Heart today to learn more about how you can leverage your skilled IT staff with our security team to boost your risk management success. 

Topics: IT, Corporate

What Do The Worst Passwords of 2015 Say About Us?

Posted by Gaye Connell • Mar. 31, 2016 • 0 Comments

weak passwordIn the 2015 edition of its annual worst passwords list, password management company SplashData revealed the 25 most common (and most easily compromised) passwords for the year. Based on an analysis of more than 2 million passwords revealed through searches of publicly available plain text data dumps, the report found that the Internet public is still clinging to its bad password habits.

Same Story, Same Verse

One of the surest signs that the message isn’t getting out is the continued presence of “123456” as the number one most common password, a position it has held since 2011. Indeed, even despite the fact that useful tools like password management software help mitigate the risk of relying on weak passwords, Internet users continue to rely on incredibly obvious choices. Chances are that your employees' bad password habits are no different.

Internet denizens have taken at least some best password practices to heart, as they’ve clearly heard the message that longer passwords are safer. Unfortunately, it seems that most users have misunderstood the lesson, as the most common method to “fix” weak passwords is simply appending additional digits at the end of the pattern, explaining the spot held by “1234567890” at number 12 on the list.
 

Signs of Hope

Fortunately, the report isn’t all bad news. The good news is that only 3 percent of users in the data sample were using one of the top 25 worst passwords, which is down from 4 percent in SplashData’s reports from previous years.

Still, the rampant use of extremely obvious passwords shows that we still face a pressing need to push the spread of alternatives to using bad passwords. The lesson that Internet security is itself important seems not to have taken hold, even despite the mounting numbers of headlines about yet another data breach.

Ultimately, the takeaway seems to be that, while Internet users are aware that their passwords play an important role in their own online security, they still don’t grasp how to do so effectively. And really, who can blame them? In a world where the best security advice is that you’re supposed to remember dozens of separate (and complex) passwords, is it any surprise that so many choose to rely on one or two very simple passwords instead?

It seems that the best solution remains the use of password management software, and that we should move away from password-based authentication entirely, whenever possible.

Contact Garland Heart today to learn more about how your organization can increase its password security compliance and boost the effectiveness of your risk management solutions.
 
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Topics: IT, Security

2016 - Garland Heart says it's the year to ‘Be YOU!’

Posted by Brad Garland • Mar. 23, 2016 • 0 Comments

Every year we look to continue to be a company that has equal goals of profit with purpose, so the last 4 years we have created a theme (and corresponding t-shirt) to express that goal. This year we wanted our theme to have multiple meanings. We spent a lot of time thinking about what would be the best way we could help the world but also translate that idea into our clients. They are truly the ones that make this possible so why not do both. After a few iterations we landed on the theme - ‘Be YOU!’

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Now, what does that mean?

At the end of last year, we invested in an assessment tool called Culture Index to help better understand ourselves as well as new recruits (since we’re hiring like crazy!). What it has done is given us the realization that regardless of what people want to do, convey how excited they are in an interview, or even pretend to be, we all have a specific wiring about us. We are who we are. When we emphatically say ‘Be YOU!’ what we mean is we should all aspire to focus on our unique traits and gifts while shedding the ones that aren’t who we are wired to be. Said another way, instead of focusing on our weaknesses, focus on our strengths!

That makes sense to us because we are creating a high performance team where some of us are wired to be in specific roles, and others are not. I’m not the details guy for example, I want to be but I’m just not wired that way! Similarly, our clients wear many hats each day that they aren’t suited to do. We feel like with our expertise, we can help them remove some of those hats. 

So at the end of the day we want people to focus on the best version of themselves they can be. Whether that means our employees using their gifts and talents to give to others, our clients focusing on the things they do best, or Garland Heart bringing a little more light to people around the world, we are up for the challenge.

Now go ‘Be YOU!’

Topics: Impacting Lives

5 Concerns Every CIO and CISO Will Face in 2016: Part 2

Posted by Gaye Connell • Mar. 2, 2016 • 0 Comments

Continuing from the previous post, here’s a look at the rest of the challenges that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) face in 2016.
 

4. Reporting Linesinformation security

Consider the lines of reporting in your organization carefully. According to Jeff Spivey, international vice president of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), “the CISO should not report to the chief information officer.” It’s essential for the Chief Information Security Officer and team to have independence in the decisions they make, rather than having to run everything past the CIO.

Speed is critical when facing rapidly changing cyber security threats. Your organization’s IT security team must be able to make decisions quickly to protect the business. Empower your IT security experts to make decisions independently, so they can operate like a team that's expecting a strategic crisis in light of the huge range of threats that exists in 2016.
 

5. Cost Reduction and Controls

Cost reduction and controls go hand-in-hand in the cyber security industry. CIOs and CISOs alike must focus on the potential costs of a data breach in order to effectively protect your organization’s bottom line. Conduct a risk assessment on a regular basis to help identify where your data and systems are vulnerable to better associate potential costs a breach could cause your company. Don't forget to address the likelihood of a potential malicious attempt for those systems as well. You can now better allocate resources and strategically invest to mitigate impact to yourself.

In addition to cost reduction practices, executives in C-level information security positions should consider using third-party vendor management and compliance services. These services can often offer more cost-effective and comprehensive solutions than most can achieve in-house. Largely due to the specific focused experience, allocated time, and broader perspective required to tackle this continued hot topic.

 

Conclusion

CIOs and CISOs face many cyber security challenges in 2016. With budgets stagnant or even shrinking in many organizations, IT professionals need to find cost-effective ways of protecting against a rapidly evolving range of threats. Encourage agility, flexibility and innovation in your organization to stay safe in 2016.

Need help with any of these concerns? Get in touch with Garland Heart today to find out how to establish strong IT security in your organization.

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5 Concerns Every CIO and CISO Will Face in 2016: Part 1

Posted by Gaye Connell • Feb. 29, 2016 • 0 Comments

In 2015, CIOs (chief information officers) and CISOs (chief information security officers) faced some serious cyber security threats, including the VTech Learning Lodge hack, which affected the data of nearly 5 million adults and 200,000 children, and the Anthem data breach, in which hackers stole 37 million customer records and passwords. With more services moving online, information security concerns show no sign of slowing down in 2016. Here are the five biggest concerns you need to consider this year.information security
 

1. Agility and Flexibility

In 2016, companies must be agile and flexible enough to respond to threats quickly. With major companies such as Chase, Sony and Target recently hit by security breaches, it’s clear that no one can afford to be complacent. By building agile teams, CIOs and CISOs can be sure that their organizations are ready to react to any threat. A successful team performs a regular risk assessment of vulnerabilities and handles them using a scrum structure, which is part of the agile approach to security software development. Agility is key to any cyber security plan, as it allows organizations to react promptly to new threats and limit the harm they cause.
 

2. Innovation

CI(S)O stands for Chief Information (Security) Officer, but in 2016 the “I” could easily stand for “innovation” instead. CIO's must constantly innovate to respond to new threats while delivering new enterprise IT compliance services in a cost-effective way. Technologies and products are constantly changing, particularly in the Internet of Things (IoT) field, which is why CIOs and CISOs must innovate to survive in the cyber security industry.
 

3. Security Budgets

The Ponemon Institute recently conducted a survey that revealed that 50 percent of C-level executives plan to flatten or reduce their security budget in the next two years. This poses even more challenges for CIOs and CISOs, who must continue to innovate and respond to threats while keeping costs low. With 59 percent of IT professionals believing that their organization does not adequately invest in IT security, 2016 is clearly going to be a challenging year for CIOs and CISOs.

Are you worried about security risks in 2016? Get in touch with Garland Heart today to find out how you can protect your organization in the future.
 
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5 Ways to Reduce the Threat of Phishing Within Your Bank

Posted by Gaye Connell • Feb. 25, 2016 • 0 Comments

Phishing remains a major threat for both individuals and the businesses that serve them. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group’s Global Phishing Survey, at least 123,972 sites around the world were used to launch phishing attacks targeting banks in the last half of 2014. In the first half of 2015, almost 41 percent of phishing attacks targeted banks.reduce phishing in your bank

Those attacks were split into two categories: mass phishing, which lures customers to fake sites asking for their credit card information, and spear phishing, which targets individuals directly in an attempt to get them to send money to a fake account or compromise their identity.

It’s crucial that your bank’s financial technology security services be working effectively with your customers to avoid a security breach.
 

1. Know If Your Customers Are Getting Phished

You must be aware when your customers are targeted by phishing attempts, and that means your customers need to be able to report it to you. Make sure they know what phishing is and how to recognize it — but most importantly, ensure they know what communication looks like when it comes from you, and what types of information you will and will not ask from them.
 

2. Have a Response Plan

Once a phishing attempt is identified, your computer security systems must respond immediately. Have procedures in place to “tag” phishing websites and report them to Web hosts, ISPs, and law enforcement and other authorities.
 

3. Ensure Your Online Interactions With Customers Are Always Secure

While it can be useful to maintain a constant stream of communication with your customers via email, don’t overdo it. It’s all too easy for one fraudulent phishing email to get “lost in the crowd,” and your customers won’t realize the link they’re about to click is a phishing link. A good way to ensure a level of secure communication is to utilize an email encryption tool or your online banking banking application. The additional security of the multi-factor authentication and secured messaging will help reduce the risk.
 

4. Identify and Educate Potential Spear-Phishing Targets

The most vigorous phishing attempts are usually targeted at people with access to large accounts, especially when that person’s access is publicly visible, as in the case of a high-ranking company official. Ensure you can identify those customers and then work with them directly to ensure they’re informed of the risk and know how to respond. Ensuring dual controls for submission & approval for both the customer and bank when able can add a layer of control.
 

5. Use Very Strong Authentication, Web and Email Filters

Don’t forget the security fundamentals. Your authentication procedures should be robust and well tested, and your Web and email filters should be monitored carefully to ensure they’re doing what you need them to.

Contact Garland Heart today and request a risk management consulting session for your bank.
 
North Texas Bank Cyber Security Case Study

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