Community banks and credit unions have special appeal for cyber criminals. Why? Smaller financial institutions maintain large amounts of financial and personal data, but are perceived to lack the same well-fortified defenses that big banks use.
In 2017, 58 percent of data breaches targeted small businesses, up from 53 percent in 2016, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. One reason for the spike is that criminals have become more organized and sophisticated, leveraging dark web chat forums and government-grade software tools. Even financial institutions with strong security protocols can be tripped up through spearfishing and social engineering threats that target an individual employee’s credentials.
The good news? Financial firms of all sizes may be able to sharply reduce their exposure with the following proactive measures:
Combine Multiple Layers of Monitoring and Response Protection
Single solutions, such as a strong firewall or antivirus measures, can’t protect against every threat. Comprehensive, around-the-clock protection requires advanced end-point detection, ransomware and malware blocking, network defense, threat intelligence, and an orchestrated real-time response. While it would be costly for the typical community bank or credit union to acquire the technology and specialized talent to maintain that level of coverage, managed service options exist today that offer equivalent or better support for less than the cost of hiring one experienced full-time cybersecurity professional.
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