This year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way financial institutions conducted business as well as how customers were able to perform financial transactions. As more employees began working remotely and banks and credit unions shuttered their doors to customers, hackers saw new opportunities to attack vulnerable infrastructures.
As 2020 comes to a close, now is a good time to assess your bank website security to prepare for cyber threats you can expect in 2021. To strengthen your security protocols, you’ll want to consider how to maintain federal regulatory compliance by using the right tools overseen by experienced people.
- Meeting Regulatory Compliance Website Security Requirements
- Implementing Website Security Tools
- Hiring the Right People
Federal laws hold financial institutions to higher website security standards. Thus, customer identification and data privacy should be of utmost concern when safeguarding your bank website. To remain compliant, banks and credit unions must implement an information security program with protocols for preventing cyber breaches and processes for mitigating damage if one occurs.
Your bank website security controls involve both the equipment and the people responsible for ensuring your website is protected. All hardware and software must be up to date and be powerful enough to handle your security needs. Your employees and web hosting service should also work together to maintain these tools and to remain aware of cyberattack trends.
Your bank website should have two layers of security: one at the internal level and the other at your web host. Onsite network security protects the integrity of your network and all equipment, including employee computers, connected to it. Setting up a firewall manages traffic between your network and untrusted external networks, such as the Internet. An email security application can deter incoming attacks and impede data loss by outgoing messages. Anti-virus and malware software should scan your network daily for malicious activity. Finally, you can enforce simple acts like limiting employee access or requiring employees to use strong passwords or two-factor authentication.
Utilizing these methods along with security measures implemented by your web hosting provider will fortify your bank website. In addition to firewalls and malware scanning, your web hosting service can augment the security and privacy of your bank website by installing an SSL/TLS certificate to authenticate and encrypt data shared between your customer’s browser and your bank website host. The type of web host— dedicated or shared — can also affect the susceptibility of your bank website to cyberthieves. Hosting your site on a dedicated host or virtual private server (VPS) is more secure than sharing a server with multiple websites.
Having the right tools in place is only part of the equation. You need knowledgeable people who understand these tools to defend your bank website, too.
An experienced information technology department is the bare minimum of your security team. Hiring a chief information security officer (CISO) will ensure accountability at the executive level. The CISO should be more than a manager. He or she should have extensive expertise and hands-on experience in developing and maintaining an information security program. Something else to consider is automating repetitive security processes, such as testing and backing up data, for efficiency. This allows your employees to focus on critical tasks.
Because your web hosting service plays an integral role in safeguarding your bank website, you’ll want to ensure that its employees meet the same standards that you set for your own. Using a third party to conduct vulnerability assessments also adds another set of eyes to monitor your system.
Overcoming bank website security doesn’t need to be a challenge if you break it down into manageable pieces. Appropriate and current hardware and software will ensure your bank website is more difficult to penetrate. With a combined effort from your IT staff, automated processes, and web hosting provider, you can safeguard your bank website and your customers’ privacy and data from hackers.
By hosting your bank or credit union website with BankSITE® Services, you can be confident that your site is secure and protected 24/7. We host our customers on a VPS system that is protected against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, malware, and unauthorized changes to your bank website. We’ve also partnered with Trustwave to perform third-party vulnerability assessments. Discover how we can make website security more manageable for you.