Whether you’re a small business or a multi-million dollar institution, you have the risk of encountering a devastating ransomware attack. You might be thinking, “It’s never happened to my organization, I doubt it will happen anytime soon.”. Many organizations make the mistake of not preparing for a cyberattack until it is too late. Think your financial organization is safe from ransomware? Think again.

Who’s Vulnerable to an Attack?

According to a survey by ACAMS, 26% of financial services firms currently do not have anti-financial crime training that addresses ransomware. Even though you may have never encountered ransomware at your organization, you are still vulnerable for an attack at any moment.  Financial services firms are considered high value targets for criminals, making them more appealing for ransomware.

Your organization may be at risk if you allow employees to bring their own computer devices to work, employ remote workers, or if you allow your employees to use work related devices while traveling. Criminals may see your organization to be vulnerable if your network is connected to a cloud since these networks are easier to breach. Poorly managing your cyber risks will encourage ransomware at your organization.

Does Cyber Insurance Offer Good Protection?

You might be asking yourself, “If I have cyber insurance, should I still be concerned about ransomware attacks?”. Although cyber insurance is a partial strategy to recover from the costs of an attack, it does not prevent you from encountering ransomware. Your organization should strive to stop cyberattacks in their tracks by using cybersecurity threat detection software to detect attacks the moment they occur.

Many organizations rely on data backups to recover any lost data, which is a successful strategy post cyberattack. Both cyber insurance and data backups don’t offer protection against cyberattacks, instead, only the chance of a successful recovery. It is especially important for financial organizations to be ahead of a cyberattack because once their data is compromised, their reputation can be destroyed.

Top Five Risks for Financial Organizations

  • Malware: When devices with malware are connected to your network, your organization is at high risk for ransomware. Without the proper security controls in place, this malware will attack your organization’s networks and put your clients data at risk.
  • Unsecure Third-Party Services: Banks and financial services firms are working more with third party services to expand with the changing market conditions. Unsecured third part services put your organization at risk for cyberattacks.
  • Spoofing: The term “spoofing” refers to hackers building URLs that look similar to one’s of financial institutions to obtain private information for its users. Anyone who enters their login information is putting your organization at risk for ransomware.
  • Data Manipulation: Manipulated data can be hard to detect as this looks similar to regular data that financial institutions work with. A common trend for data manipulation at financial organization is to change the recipient of a payment or charge false payments to accounts that look like service fees.
  • Unencrypted Data: The data stored at financial institutions need to be fully encrypted as this data is sensitive, private information. In the case of this information being stolen, having it encrypted means the hacker will be unable to use the data right away. Unencrypted data allows the hacker to use it immediately.

Before and After a Cyberattack

It is hard to predict the events leading up to a cyberattack, but the way you prepare your organization can determine the outcome of the attack. You must recognize that ransomware is constantly evolving to include new, abstract techniques. As a financial organization, you should be regularly performing security assessments to determine the strength of your cybersecurity efforts.  The ability to recognize a security threat the moment it is detected on the network can save your organization a lot of time and money. Before a cyberattack, you should already have a well thought out plan for your employees to execute in the case of an attack. This is called an Incident Response Plan (IR Plan).

The after effects of a ransomware attack at your financial organization can have long term consequences. Clients will no longer have trust in your organization to safeguard their private data. Your reputation will be forever tarnished. No matter how well you prepare for an attack, once your firm has become a victim your cybersecurity safety plan should be enacted immediately among your employees. Everyone should know their role in the recovery of the organization. The appropriate authorities need to be contacted according to your local regulations.

Tips to Reduce Your Ransomware Risk

If you want to reduce your risk for ransomware attack at your financial organization, it is important to conduct checks and balances of your security protocols as well as give your employees the proper education regarding cybersecurity efforts. Regularly educating employees about new regulations and routines will help prevent cyberattacks related to human error.

According to ACAM, 18% of financial institutions do not have policies and procedures on ransomware-related risk management. Employees should be on the lookout for social engineering ransomware, as this is a popular strategy for cybercriminals making dangerous ransomware look like a regular email from your coworker. Educating your employees is your first line of defense against a cyberattack.

They are responsible for reporting the attack and preventing further attacks. Remember to regularly checks and balances of your security protocol to ensure it is up to date and working. Having security software that needs to be updated opens your organization up to ransomware. Invest into a good security system that’s able to detect threats at their earliest convenience.

Stay Secure with Kyber Security

As the cyber threat landscape constantly evolves, your security measures should be one step ahead. Kyber Security has dedicated professionals experienced in protecting your organization from ever increasing cyber threats. We will work tirelessly to keep your company protected from cyber-attacks.

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