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The First Line of Defense: Layered Security for Financial Institutions

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The financial services threat landscape is constantly morphing as the attackers hone their craft.  Additionally, there are no shortages of new guidelines, and security standards from regulating bodies and councils.  Consequently, protecting sensitive information and staying in compliance are becoming more challenging feats. Layered security is the best way to safeguard data because it provides a number of places where your firm stops an attack in its tracks.


Hackers are working nonstop to improve their techniques, so they are becoming more focused and more effective. “Security breaches threaten C-level jobs and cost organizations millions of dollars, as proven by Equifax and Maersk,” noted Peter Firstbrook, research vice president at Gartner Inc.


Layered security helps financial institutions defend themselves from ever changing cybersecurity threats. This approach creates a series of places where you ward off a potential attack. The more hurdles (layers) that they need to clear, the more likely it becomes that your confidential information remains safe.


Protecting the Network Layer

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Through the years, many different types of malware have been designed to create an entry way into an organization. Perimeter solutions are geared to stop outsiders as they try to penetrate the network infrastructure. Companies use these tools to secure their networks in a few ways.


Virtual Private Networks restrict remote access to users with software on their systems and ensure that only authorized individuals (employees, partners, customers) can traverse the enterprise network.


Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and an Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) monitor, alert, and respond to internal network activities and anything approaching the security perimeter in real time. Their goal is to catch exploits before they do significant damage.  An IDS is a device or software application that monitors network or system activities for malicious activities or policy violations and sends alerts to a management station. An IPS sits inline between two connections and determines whether or not the traffic should proceed. This system works with company security policy enforcement systems and either allows or stops certain types of traffic, depending on a set of rules generated by correlative event process and the organization’s security posture.


Firewalls, which have been the cornerstone of network security for decades, monitor incoming traffic. They protect your network infrastructure from external threats by ensuring that transactions do not carry malware into your organization.


LAN Segmentation sequesters sensitive information from other data and requires that the criminals make it through a more checkpoints to access potential confidential information.


DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is a subnetwork that contains and exposes an organization's externally facing services to the Internet such as web servers and/or email. This adds an additional level of security by limiting access into the internal LAN (local area network) from the public Internet.


Email Security

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Businesses rely greatly on email to exchange information, The number of worldwide users will top 3.8 in 2018, and is expected to reach 4.2 billion by the end of 2022, and email revenues is expected to rise from $33.1 billion in 2018, to $64.2 billion in 2022, an average Compound Annual Growth Rate of 18%, according to The Radicati Group, Inc. Because of the widespread use and continued growth of email, the bad guys often use email security holes to compromise sensitive information. Financial organizations need a suite of tools that work together to protect such transactions.


Email Threat Protection solutions separate legitimate from illegitimate transactions.  They identify and block viruses, phishing, zero-day malware, and ransomware.


Multi-Layered Spam Filtering systems scan, and when appropriate quarantine, potential malicious emails. The malware is moved to a safe place so they never arrive in employees’ In-boxes.


Sandboxing enables the tech team to analyze attachments in a safe sequestered, ‘sandbox’ environment. If the code is malicious, it is quarantined. If attachments are safe, they are delivered to the recipients.


Email Encryption uses policy-based rules to automatically encrypt sensitive information. If they see data, such as Social Security numbers and account information, in a message, the transaction is encrypted.

Higher Level Security

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Sometimes, cybercriminals do avert the network checkpoints and worm their way into your data center. What they desire is not only access but also the use of credentials, which give them the ability to change information and conduct transactions.


Activity monitoring systems aggregate information from various sources and identify abnormal behaviors. Such traits often point to a hacker: typically they try and fail multiple times to access privileged information before finally attaining access to it.


The individuals trying to break into your systems are highly motivated, highly sophisticated professional cybercriminals. They are working non-stop to compromise your sensitive information Creating a security architecture to ward them off is not a trivial task.


The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that it exists. Financial institutions typically lack the expertise needed to battle the bad guys. They need a proven methodology and security expertise to prevent, detect and proactively respond to threats.


DataComm works with financial institutions to develop much-needed layered security protocols. The company has a well-established track record of keeping networks secure, running at optimal levels, and responsive to not only threats but also consumer expectations.

The company has a broad suite of security services: it offers 24/7 network monitoring, windows event log monitoring, firewall management, intrusion detection and prevention, data loss prevention, spam filtering and encryption services. DataComm relies on multi-layered security services to protect your financial institution's network from the sophisticated attacks cybercriminals use to break into financial networks just like yours. 

Learn more about how DataComm can protect your business’ sensitive information.

This entry was posted in financial institutions, network security, consultation

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