5 Takeaways on Cybersecurity Trends in the Financial Sector

Cybersecurity Trends in the Financial Sector Discussion

Last month SkyTerra was honored to sit on a panel discussion at the Ultimus Client Summit in Cincinnati, OH. Moderated by Mel Van Cleave (Ultimus Fund Solutions) the topic was Cybersecurity Trends in the Financial Sector and Best Practices. Panelists included Dan Bergeron (SkyTerra Technologies), Shawn Waldan (Secure Cyber) and Peter Salmon (Investment Company Institute). Here are the top 5 takeaways from the discussion. 

1. You Are as Secure as Your Weakest Vendor 

In today’s interconnected business landscape, companies rely on multiple vendors to provide critical products and services. Each vendor may have access to sensitive data or systems, making them potential targets for cyberattacks. Even if a company has a robust cybersecurity program in place, a single vulnerable vendor can compromise the entire system, making it difficult to secure cybersecurity insurance. Use SkyTerra’s cybersecurity insurance questionnaire to assess the security posture of your organization.

2. Establish a Relationship With Your Local Law Enforcement 

In the event that there is a security breach, having an established relationship with your local law enforcement agency will make reporting and resolution an easier process. Reach out to the department and express their interest in building a partnership. Communicate your goals, objectives and expectations. Scheduling regular meetings with local law enforcement can help establish and maintain a positive relationship. It will also provide opportunities to discuss cybersecurity concerns or potential threats to the organization or the community. 

3. Practice Scenarios

In addition to a relationship with local law enforcement, having a response plan in place is critical to returning to business after an attack. Just like a tornado drill in school, getting a list of scenarios and practicing how to react could save your business priceless hours at the onset of an event. Keep a roster of who will do what and practice different scenarios often. 

4. Cybersecurity Is Not Just an At-Work Issue 

Cybersecurity is not just an issue that affects the workplace. It is also a concern that extends to personal lives and homes. With the increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives, individuals are now more susceptible to cyber threats, such as phishing scams, malware, and identity theft. Many people also use personal devices to access work-related data or to work remotely, making it crucial for individuals to ensure that their personal devices are secure.

Proper cybersecurity practices, such as using strong passwords, keeping software up to date and avoiding suspicious links should be implemented both at work and at home. Organizations can help their employees by providing cybersecurity training and resources that can also be applied to their personal lives, such as best practices for securing personal devices or avoiding social engineering attacks.

5. Learning From the ICI Survey

One of the major takeaways from the recent ICI Survey is the strength of a 16-character password, compared to the often required 8-character password. This is because a shorter password can be easily cracked using brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks or other password guessing methods.

An 8-character password has 6.6342043e+15 possible combinations, assuming it uses a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. This may seem like a large number, but it can be easily cracked using modern computing power and techniques.

On the other hand, a 16-character password has 9.223372e+29 possible combinations, making it significantly more secure than an 8-character password. It would take much longer for an attacker to crack a 16-character password using brute-force or dictionary attacks, and it would require much more computing power and time.

It is recommended to use a password that is at least 12-16 characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for optimal security.

Cybersecurity For Financial Institutions

Concerned about the impact of technology on the banking and financial industry? SkyTerra provides cybersecurity solutions to large financial institutions to protect their data, privacy and money. Book an appointment to review your tech stack and current security policies with one of our experts. 

Avatar photo

Dan Bergeron

Dan spearheads the company’s business development initiatives, operations, and vision for a client-first centric culture of excellence.