Closing the Cyber Literacy Gap in Banking is Essential for Combatting Hacks

When it comes to banking, bad credit is the boogey man – and what keeps consumers and bank executives alike up at night. However, in 2018, we understand that cybersecurity is perhaps the real monster under the bed. What’s more is that lack of cybersecurity understanding can lead you into the territory of bad credit, as hackers can open fake accounts with the personal data stolen from banks. Cybersecurity incidents and external threats have become more complex while the need for security and intelligence training in banking is critical. Can we trust that banks are taking the necessary steps in educating their employees beyond awareness? In order to keep our assets safe, it’s essential that the banking industry is fluent in cyber literacy.

Cyber Literacy in Banking

The Human Error

While it doesn’t take an expert to know that cyber-attacks pose a major threat in every industry today, research indicates that banking is the most volatile. However, response from this industry is severely IT and security solutions facing even though reports and past incidents often determine “human error” as the root cause. No matter the newest firewall technology, hackers can penetrate through vulnerabilities that the IT department cannot detect, such as phishing. These threats target employees outside of your company’s security workforce, impacting departments such as marketing, human resources, and sales.

No One Can Do It Alone

It is becoming clear that collective action is necessary to mitigate threats from cybercriminals. Nevertheless, hiring high-tech cybersecurity-savvy talent and establishing a security-focused company culture are both difficult goals for even the largest companies. Globally, we are facing a severe lack of cybersecurity experts and cyber-literate professionals. In 2016, banks such as JPMorgan and Citigroup reportedly teamed up with other leading banks to form a group whose sole focus is to combat cyber threats and sharing knowledge about cyber risks. It’s important to note, cyber knowledge remains critical for this group’s success.

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Cyber in banking

Examples of the importance of educating your employee base are plentiful and ever-evolving. More recent issues include the Equifax data breach which exposed the information of ~140 million people, the Wells Fargo’s accidental release of detailed information of their wealthiest customers, and other superpower countries like China and Iran attacking Chase and Bank of America. Many of those mistakes could have been mitigated or minimized if more bank employees were educated on cybersecurity.

Give Your Workforce The Tools To Protect You

So how can banks minimize risk if having their own SOC isn’t quite enough? Cybersecurity experts are claiming that by 2021, there will be millions of unmanned cybersecurity positions worldwide, and even today cybersecurity unemployment stands close to 0%. This information suggests that banks simply can’t easily hire more cyber-trained employees for their workforce, they must invest in training them. Having a well-trained IT and security team is only step one, as the majority of data leaks are actually caused by internal employees, and not by external attacks. Keeping that in mind, training everyone on cybersecurity and basic cyber literacy is essential to combat today’s biggest issues facing financial institutions and banks.

Ben Kapon

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