Since the pandemic, cyber attacks have become the biggest risk to the banking industry. The industry faces a massive risk with the looming threat of malicious actors trying to breach banking systems.
According to Mark Whelan, group executive of ANZ, the attack surface that’s threatening these ecosystems has only expanded with COVID-19. ANZ, itself, receives close to 10 million attacks per month.
The CEO of Westpac, Peter King, is another industry leader who is voicing concerns about cybersecurity in the banking sector. According to him, from the rollout of remote working policies to now, not only has the number of cyber attacks increased but they have also increased in terms of complexity.
These concerns among industry leaders are a warning sign that indicates the need for more robust cybersecurity strategies across banks and financial institutions. Strategies that strengthen the relationship between security, compliance and AI might just be the answer we’re looking for.
Maintain complete awareness of your attack surface
The shift to remote work, increased digital transactions, and the growing preference for online banking services have expanded the industry’s attack surface dramatically.
With hardly any confidence across the industry in terms of its ability to maintain a holistic view of this attack surface, finding a way to address this needs to be a priority.
Not understanding the context of transformation in relation to your attack surface can increase your vulnerability to new risks. By gaining an end-to-end understanding of it, your security and network teams can develop and implement new rules and policies to stem the flow of attacks.
This awareness can also help you analyse the impact of potential policy and rule changes in your institution and your industry, making room for compliance and cybersecurity simultaneously.
Execute compliance changes proactively
When new compliance laws are implemented, the gaps in your network may be exposed unintentionally. This is why you need to manage your security posture in a way that addresses network security and make sure that you’re equipped with remediation options that secure your institution’s digital environment.
This will help security teams take the right actions to re-configure your existing policies, which will ultimately narrow your attack surface.
One way to do this is by carrying out exposure analysis and attack simulation. The simulation will help your security team gain insights into the security controls that protect or even expose vulnerable assets.
Your teams can then prioritise remediating exposed vulnerabilities that require the most attention and decide which remediation option is the most appropriate.
Tackle insider threats using AI
The insider threats that occur in the finance industry are generally much more challenging to tackle as threat actors are aware of the location of sensitive data. Malicious insiders, therefore, may not just limit themselves to theft but may also get involved in money laundering.
One of the most effective ways to tackle this threat is by using AI. Through continuous monitoring of logs gathered from all devices and user accounts, behaviour analytics tools that use AI technology can help you establish a base profile of threat actors but also warn you of any anomalies, if and when detected.
This can then be brought to the attention of the administrator to initiate the necessary action.
Strengthen your security, compliance, and integrate AI into your work to ensure banking cybersecurity
Understanding the multidimensional relationship between security, compliance, and AI in the banking industry can be challenging. This awareness, however, can be what supports your security team to recognise the best approach to bolster your security posture.
It’s not just enough to approach banking cybersecurity from the perspective of compliance.
While the finance industry does have more policies to comply with, only a careful balancing act between security, compliance, and AI will help you prepare and prevent cyber attacks that threaten your reputation and finances.