With words like “trust” and “security” ranking among the top reasons people ultimately choose to do business with a financial institution, today’s banks are now in a circumstance that requires them to be ever-vigilant with their cybersecurity practices.
The cybersecurity landscape of today seems to be continually worsening. Hackers are finding new ways to breach secure networks and gain access to customer information. Instead of playing the game one-sided, hackers are also targeting individual consumers – including the business customers of your bank – in order to plant tools that will help them gain access to your network.
In fact, American Banker reports that the number one way banks are attacked by cybercriminals is through their web-based applications (48% of data breaches). Malware, for instance, is inserted into the bank’s website or mobile application screen and can collect personal information that your customers will readily hand over since they are on the bank website, to begin with.
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Oftentimes, we envision cybercriminals as one person, sitting for countless hours behind a computer terminal, picking out individual businesses or consumers to target and hack their information. Therefore, much of the public perception around cybersecurity issues remains “the chances of it happening to me are small.”
In reality, cybercriminals are designing automated tools to do their hacking for them. This allows their targets to widen exponentially, opening up businesses of all sizes and all consumers to the threat of cybersecurity attacks and attacks on their information. After the code, or malware, is deployed, all a cybercriminal must do is sit and wait for the information to roll into their databases. If you love words and games then there are so many fun word games to play as well and you can always look for a little extra help.
How to Respond
In response to this, there are three areas that your organization can focus on to lessen the chances of cybersecurity attacks from both internal employees and your customers. This not only helps your organization better prepare but can help lessen your liability in cybersecurity preparedness.
- Awareness of threats. The first step in engaging internal and external customers in cybersecurity threats is to first generate the awareness of threats to your business customers. As mentioned above, many people believe the odds of attacks happening to them or their business are small because they do not understand how cyber attacks work. Providing resources about cyber threats helps move customers from the awareness stage into the consideration and action stages of cybersecurity.
- Educate your business customers. Similar to the idea that your employees must be trained, your customers must also be educated about ways to avoid exposure to cybersecurity threats and identity theft. Providing content and resources for customers to access and learn about ways to avoid threats will help reduce your external threat factors and liability from this group.
- Educate your business employees. Providing thorough educational content is a much-needed step to organize your business customers and their employees around the dangers of cybersecurity threats. Many organizations do not have the resources needed to protect themselves from being hacked. Devising a proactive system of education for your business customers and their employees will help in the year-round effort to combat cyber attacks.
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American Banker, “Where Banks Are Most Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks Now,” April 25, 2016