Cybersecurity for Financial Services

Cybersecurity Challenges for Financial Services

IT security is an ongoing concern for the financial services sector. The financial services sector is also highly regulated by frameworks including PCI DSS, FFIEC, and NYDFS.

Financial services experience the highest volume of security incidents and have the highest annual cost of cybercrime – averaging $18.28 million for U.S. companies, according to Accenture. Additionally, any breach tarnishes a brand’s image and diminishes customer confidence.

While many financial institutions turn to traditional security information and event management (SIEM) platforms to detect cybersecurity threats, the usefulness of these systems ends after IT is notified of a potential security event. The team is often left uncertain of the threat’s severity and the appropriate next steps.

A SIEM requires regular maintenance and optimization to defend against the latest cyber-attacks. This is done in large corporations by a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) staffed by a group of specialized IT security analysts to sift through alerts, determine the severity of each, take action on the most important ones, and feed and maintain the system on an ongoing basis. A SOC demands a skill set and resources that not every financial services company has available to them. 

Addressing the Financial Services Security Gap

Blumira provides an advanced threat detection and response platform that alerts your team about critical cyber threats in real-time and provides automated and actionable response capabilities that reduce the overhead associated with traditional SIEM products.

Our detection platform distills ten million log events down to one item that your existing IT team can take action on. Other IT security solutions generate 200 times more data points, and all of those demand human intervention to prioritize and define needed actions.

Blumira does that work for your team, so they can focus on actually disrupting the cyber threat to prevent or contain damage. It is easy to implement and intuitive to use, allowing existing teams to get it up and running in a few days, not months.

Blumira helps you meet compliance mandates painlessly. Adopt a more effective approach to cybersecurity in financial services and get your free account today.

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Cybersecurity Best Practices for Financial Institutions 

Securing a financial organization can seem like a daunting task — especially as industry IT leaders juggle so many different priorities. But for financial IT leaders, the consequences are dire. 

There are some best practices that IT teams in finance can follow, even with limited budgets and staff:

Prioritize end user training. IT and security teams should know about ransomware warning signs, but so should end users. Failure to train and educate users often points to a broader issue — a lack of security culture throughout an agency. That, combined with the fact that human error is the starting point for many cyberattacks, means that organizations should make training more of a priority. 

At a minimum, IT and security teams should inform staff about how to spot a phishing email. More formal security awareness training is even better, but an informal chat about what a phishing email can look like and what to do is a good first step.

Deploy Sysmon. When it comes to preventing ransomware, it’s important to have visibility into an environment. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools can achieve that, but they can also be expensive and out of the question for local banks and credit unions with limited budgets. System Monitor (Sysmon for short) is a free Microsoft utility that small IT teams can use to get visibility into their environments. Sysmon is part of the Sysinternals software package and provides a higher level of event monitoring than the standard Windows logs. It records events such as network connections, process creations, file hashes, and changes to the Windows Registry. 

IT leaders without the budget for an EDR solution should deploy Sysmon for enhanced logging that can provide a wealth of data about endpoints. Since Sysmon is free, it does require more care and feeding than a plug-and-play paid tool. IT admins need to deploy updates as they are released and make configuration changes as necessary, but those tasks generally fall under the umbrella of standard patch management. It’s relatively easy to install and configure Sysmon in a few steps.

Implement threat detection and response. Using Sysmon and a centralized log management tool will provide some visibility into an environment and help with alerting, but small IT and security teams need to know how to respond to those alerts. A threat detection and response solution alerts IT and security teams on suspicious behavior that is indicative of a ransomware attack.

How Blumira Makes Cybersecurity Easy for Financial Organizations

Get more detail on the value we provide for banks, credit unions, insurance firms and more financial institutions:

  • Ease of Deployment & Use – Set up Blumira’s cloud-delivered detection and response platform in minutes or hours, using your existing smaller teams; no need for security expertise to manage or respond to alerts.
  • Lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) – On average, Blumira is 25-40% more affordable than other SIEM providers, making it easy to justify budget and ROI (return on investment) to your executive board
  • Automated Security Operations – Blumira’s platform automates the manual process of threat hunting and analysis. Using pre-built rules, Blumira sends high-value alerts on detected threats so small teams knows what to prioritize and how to respond
  • Comprehensive Coverage – Out-of-the-box, vendor-agnostic integrations with third parties across on-premises and cloud applications provide advanced security visibility and wide coverage across complex, hybrid environments often seen in financial institutions
  • Help Meet Compliance – Blumira’s platform automates daily log reviews to help banks and credit unions meet PCI DSS, FFIEC, and NYDFS  and other compliance requirements for audit trails, log review, detection and response, log retention and more. It also provides scheduled, automated reports useful for auditors.
  • Trusted Security Advisors – At no added cost, you get access to responsive, helpful security advice from Blumira’s in-house security operations team to assist with onboarding, management, new integrations or incident response triage and investigation as needed – acting as an extension of your existing IT team.

Free Cloud SIEM For Financial Services

On average, it takes most organizations a matter of minutes to start sending logs to Blumira’s platform for detection and response coverage.

While traditional SIEMs require months of setup, Blumira does all of the heavy lifting for you – we parse your data, write and roll out new rules automatically, and provide pre-written playbooks for response.

With Blumira’s free edition, you can detect and respond to threats in Microsoft 365. This makes it fast, easy, and free for IT and security teams in the financial industry to try Blumira’s platform before they decide to buy, using the team they have today.

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Additional Resources

PCI DSS Logging, Threat Detection and Response

When it comes to security event logging, reporting, audit trails, anomaly and threat detection, as well as tracking critical security control systems, Blumira helps you both meet and exceed PCI DSS compliance. Blumira’s cloud-based SIEM and security platform is PCI DSS compliant.

The Modern SIEM Evaluation Guide

Learn more about how to choose a SIEM that quickly detects and responds to threats – without significant overhead or a fully staffed security team.