Credit unions play a big role in fostering trust and providing financial security to their members. Yet, the changing landscape of cyberattacks and the consistent rise in data breaches have made it essential for credit unions to address any potential vulnerabilities in their networks. This is where penetration testing, a vital element of cybersecurity, becomes imperative in ensuring the integrity of credit unions.
By identifying and testing these vulnerabilities in a controlled environment, credit unions can proactively strengthen their security posture and ensure compliance with regulations. This post will explore the numerous benefits of implementing a Progressive Penetration Testing Program tailored explicitly for credit unions, highlighting why it is a vital component of their cybersecurity strategy.
What is penetration testing?
Penetration testing, also known as “pentesting” and commonly known as “ethical hacking,” is a technique used by security teams to shine a light on potential vulnerabilities. Pen testing involves identifying and testing these vulnerabilities within an organization’s network in a controlled environment. The security team takes on the mindset of a cybercriminal and mimics the actions or strategies of an attack to evaluate where the weak points are. Penetration testing can also test compliance regulations to resolve any risks.
Benefits of penetration testing for credit unions
- Credit unions meet compliance regulations
The financial services industry requires data compliance regulations and guidelines to ensure customer trustworthiness, data protection, and proper security posture. Penetration binds credit unions to the reality of their network health. When it comes time for compliance reporting and monitoring, penetration testing takes it to the next level by suggesting actions for remediation.
Regardless of the changing industry landscape (threats and regulations), the goal is to ensure compliance. Standards like PCI DSS, NIST, HIPPA, NCUA ACET, FFIEC CAT, and others have become more than just a paperwork exercise or checkbox. Most auditors ask teams to use data-driven processes to show regulatory compliance and improve cyber-risk maturity.
- Credit unions minimize risk
A penetration test is one of the best ways to expose vulnerabilities and risks to a network. This ensures all systems are as secure as they can be. Security teams can stimulate different vantage points to see if critical data can be accessed. Then, they can disrupt the kill chain by understanding the attack vectors leading to essential impacts.
All steps are meticulously documented so weaknesses can be exploited. A penetration test gives a baseline to work off to remediate the risk optimally and structurally. A sequence of the risks is provided, as well, to help tackle the highest risks first, then the others.
- Credit unions stay ahead of cyber threats
Thinking ahead with the mindset of a cybercriminal sets proactive credit unions apart from the ones that are only reacting to attacks. It is one thing to have an incident response plan for when an attack occurs, as this is vital for every organization regardless of industry. However, it is another thing to get ahead by penetrating a network as a cybercriminal would. Take advantage of existing programs like Progressive Penetration Testing to see where the weak points are.
The proactive cybersecurity approach
With limited resources, most credit unions struggle to prioritize vulnerabilities, identify exposures and weak points, and align to the larger business objectives to meet regulations of protected assets. Traditional penetration tests use limited formulaic methods and have not evolved to the constantly changing threat landscape credit unions face.
Progressive Penetration Testing provides real-world scenarios with industry-specific threat assessments offering actionable recommendations. Every step is documented, providing a reverse-engineered blueprint to demonstrate how a cybercriminal can access the environment and gain access to critical systems laterally. Penetration tests ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by hitting multiple required benefits. It just takes it a step further.
Discover how Adlumin’s Security Operations Platform paired with Managed Detection and Response Services empowers your team to effectively detect and respond to threats and lightens your team’s workload. Take the platform tour and elevate your credit union’s visibility to new heights.