3 Steps to Help Mitigate Your Bank’s Data Breach Risk

There is a 1 in 960,000 chance of getting struck by lightning, and a 1 in 220 chance of dating a millionaire. The chances of experiencing a data breach? 1 in 4.

Long gone are the days when you did not have to worry about a cyber-attack on your organization. No matter the size of your bank, you are at risk. It’s not a matter of if, but when a breach will occur. Today, more than ever, it is imperative to have the correct processes, technology, training, and people in place to best protect your organization.

The first step to mitigating cyber-attack risk is understanding the types to which you are most susceptible. Threats like hackers, ransomware, phishing, corporate account takeover, and ATM compromise are just a few of the myriad of breaches an organization could experience. Identify which of these pose the greatest threat to your institution and customers. Then, put into place the following practices to ensure you are ready and equipped for a data breach when it occurs.

1. Train Bank Employees to Identify Potential Data Breaches

The only way employees will know about risk is if they are trained and tested to identify it. It isn’t enough to simply talk about risk. Risk awareness needs to be an ingrained part of the corporate culture, from the top down. Employees must be encouraged, empowered, and equipped to do their due diligence in seeking out potential threats, and they must understand the critical role they play in preventing potentially catastrophic data breaches.

It is also important to keep your customers in the loop. Keeping them abreast of your bank’s risk awareness procedures and policies will ultimately create a deeper sense of trust and transparency between bank and customer. They want to know their data is safe and what you plan to do to keep it that way.

2. Establish clear processes

A formalized and clear plan must be created for what the guidelines are in different risk situations. Every step, from the moment a breach has occurred, should be established and clearly communicated.

Governance Frameworks like NIST, ITIL, and COBIT need to be established from the beginning.

3. Use the correct technology

Having powerful technology to protect the data of both your bank and customers is important, but something that is even more crucial is making sure that employees are trained in how to use it correctly and to its full potential.

If your bank’s employees, processes, and technology are not working together, there will be a greater chance of a data breach. While risk may not be imminent, establishing a risk awareness framework for your organization needs to be done immediately to protect your bank’s data as well as that of your customers.

This is just a snippet of the teaching of Chad Tagtow, CISSP in his GSBLSU class, Risk Management & CyberSecurity.