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Financial firms must develop proactive cybersecurity plans

Jan 09, 2019 Dave King

While the threat landscape has evolved during the past several years, the prizes that cybercriminals target have not necessarily changed. For the most part, malicious outsiders are still in it for financial reasons, which should encourage banks and other institutions to update security tactics if they want to keep sensitive and valuable information out of the hands of unauthorized users.

A Midsize Insider report highlighted how financial organizations are generally considered the natural prey for many cybercriminals because of the profitable resources those businesses are charged with safeguarding. Outsiders often seek banking information and alternative credit data that can be converted into financial wealth.

In the past, most small business decision-makers thought they were relatively safe from cybercriminals, as larger institutions are generally considered to have more valuable assets. Today, however, small and medium-sized organizations are not only targeted by outsiders because of the sensitive information they maintain, but also because their networks can be used as launch pads to gain access into enterprise-level IT environments. Midsize Insider highlighted the fact that many smaller firms also have weaker defensive systems, which means cybercriminals can penetrate confidential architectures with fewer complications.

Rather than taking a reactive stance toward cybercrime, however, smaller banks and other finance companies should proactively protect their assets. A Business News Daily report highlighted how researchers from Iowa State University argue that companies of all sizes and industries need to develop a more progressive security stance, as failing to do so will not only make it easier for malicious outsiders to cripple operations, but can lead to devastating long-term consequences. This is especially true among firms protecting financial information.

As the threat landscape evolves, companies need to take a step back, assess their current data protection postures and evaluate how they can improve their defensive strategies. This approach will be critical during the next several years, especially as technology continues to transform.