5 Ways Cyber Literacy Affects the Banking Workforce

The banks that are leading in cyber defense are the ones that understand the issue of human error and are working to close cyber literacy gaps. Here are some examples of how cyber literacy affects the banking industry:

The Banking Industry is Among the Most Targeted

In 2018 it’s no secret the financial market severely lacks in cybersecurity trained workforce. It has also become quite clear that everyone is exposed and at risk of cyber-attacks. Nevertheless, institutions like banks and investment funds are among some of the most targeted organizations by hackers. Why? The answer is obvious, money. Hackers see banks as a legitimate goal and even with their firewalls, secure credentials and layers of security, banks are not as safe as most think.

Few Banks are Taking Cybersecurity Measures Seriously

Hacking a bank is complex, but once successfully infiltrated, a successful raid can cause serious damage. Banks allocate assets as they understand the value of information and continue to deploy leading technologies to protect themselves as much as possible. However, these systems are only effective as far as the cyber-risk culture that is implemented within the organization. Some banks have started setting up response teams, NOCs and are hiring external services to research attack roots. Though these changes are important and will technically aid in prevention, most attacks nowadays are caused by lack of awareness and literacy by internal bank employees. The banks that are leading in cyber defense are the ones that understand the issue of human error and are working on closing knowledge gaps in their workforce with cyber education.

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Banking workforce cyber literacy

From Bank Teller to Analyst – Every Employee Counts

Research results prove time and again that investing in employee professional development positively impacts how committed your employees are to the success of the company, increase work efforts and are more likely to feel professionally fulfilled. When it comes to cybersecurity and intelligence education, you not only provide them with necessary tools to master the rapidly developing technologies that surround them, but boost employee retention in the process. Said differently, without you pushing your employees to learn, they will become comfortable doing things as they always have and allow threats to stay present in your network. If you give your employees knowledge, they will use it to keep your company and their work safe.

Cyber Literacy in Banking Improves Security

If you are a bank that wants to improve security, it’s as easy as 1,2,3, 4:

  1. Always respond as if your network has already been compromised. Changing the mindset of your IT team to put it on a defensive mode can do wonders. When done correctly, this can lead to improving network segmentation, thus making life more difficult for hackers.
  2. Create and implement a security policy. If this policy is well defined, it will help your IT team to maintain it and your HR to recruit the right people. This policy must have in mind all compliance requirements while being regularly updated according to any changes required by law and local regulations.
  3. Enforce your policies. This is likely the hardest part, as detecting broken policies can be challenging. If you don’t monitor your network and what your employees are doing or not doing, 1 & 2 will be for nothing.
  4. Educate your employees.
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Workforce Cyber Education is Key

Until recently, cybersecurity was a term that not many people spoke about or even truly knew the meaning. Most people who work at banks and other financial institutions, from tellers to wall street analysts are not technically savvy enough to protect their company’s network. Against that backdrop, there are millions of unfilled cybersecurity positions and cyber literacy is missing from most higher education curricula. In order to bridge this gap, employers will need to take the reins of employee cyber education. If you want your workforce to block and respond to bypasses, we must teach them what approaches to take and how to detect any malicious activity, instead of sending an annual ‘update your password’ memo. A more cyber-savvy and proactive workforce is the key to solving the current gaps in cybersecurity.

Alex Aronovich

Alex is a top-tier cyber expert with extensive experience working with intelligence teams in the government and private sectors. Over the course of his career, Alex has worked in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, served as department commander in the elite cyber unit 8200 and as a team leader for one of the country’s top cyber-offense units.