Cybersecurity Awareness Month occurs in October. The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) created it to increase general awareness of emerging online threats and how best to avoid them.
The practice of user access reporting within financial institutions has historically been an arduous process that relies on archaic technology and is both time and labor intensive. While generating multiple user access reports per year would be ideal, many financial institutions, through no fault of their own, often find they can only produce the bare minimum amount of reporting required annually. But as cyber risks continue to grow and the regulatory requirements continue to increase, it is vital that financial institutions can quickly and easily produce these reports, and with increased frequency.
Contracts are typically dense, highly detailed documents that can be hard to navigate. After wading through strikingly specific legal verbiage, it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not the contracts are accomplishing everything they claim to be. As a result, financial institutions may wonder how they can feel confident in signing such a document. Systematically and thoroughly reading and reviewing the contract before agreeing to its terms are vital, but knowing how to do that well can be tough. Prior to conducting a review, you’ll need to understand the expectations of the relationship: which products/services were selected, any prerequisites or additional costs to implement, term(s) of the agreement, and the stakeholders. Conducting a contract review is vital to reduce overall risk, ensure that the provisions are correct, and provide both sides with the opportunity to fully understand what they are agreeing to before the final signing decision is made. Regulatory requirements mandate that each institution is responsible for reviewing and understanding vendor contracts and/or agreements - but that is easier said than done.
The ever evolving landscape of cybersecurity and cyber risk presents a unique challenge. As the threats and associated risks continually change, it can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest recommendations, guidance, and best practices. FINOSEC President and CEO Zach Duke spent some time talking to Joel Williquette, Senior Vice President of Operational Risk Policy for the ICBA to discuss some practical cybersecurity tips for community banks. We have linked the entire conversation at the bottom of this post, but here are 5 of the key takeaways in considering how to identify, evaluate, and address cybersecurity risks at your institution.