A Financial Firm’s Security Breach Survival Guide

From account numbers and personally identifiable client information to investment algorithms and trade secrets, financial firms have an awful lot of data to protect. And any firm would agree that best outcome of their cyber security efforts is to prevent unauthorized access of this data.

Unfortunately, even financial institutions with state-of-the-art cyber defense programs in place still experience data breaches. And how these companies deal with an incident can make all the difference between an epic disaster and a controlled setback.

Poorly executed incident responses can tarnish a financial firm’s reputation, as clients lose trust in the company holding their financial records, and a number of clients will take their business elsewhere. Lawsuits and legal fees can also drive up the cost of recovery when firms are found to have acted less than reasonably in their response effort. The damage to the bottom line can escalate quickly, and for smaller firms, it may even be too much to rebound from.

In short, even though prevention is the best medicine, your cyber security plan isn’t complete without effective incident response procedures. So let’s look at a few key considerations for building your response plan:

  1. It’s not all about IT. When a hacker or company insider exploits a vulnerability in your security that vulnerability needs to be found and closed. But taking action to remedy the problem is only part of the concern. How you go about disclosing the event, and to whom, can have major legal impacts, so you need to get legal counsel involved quickly.
  1. You need technical expertise. Aside from shutting down existing vulnerabilities, you need to capture information from your systems to document details and evidence of the breach. It’s important to have experienced security professionals on your side to handle the task effectively.
  1. Get encryption working for you. When data is lifted from your networks, encryption can ensure that its use is limited and it remains protected from prying eyes. It’s important to make sure you have implemented encryption properly to make sure there are no points in the data life cycle where info is unencrypted.
  1. Get assessed. Your incident response plan may look good on paper, but you’ll need to put it to the test to make sure it’s ready for prime time. You’ll want to enlist the support of a third-party specialist to assess and test your plan.

Incident response is crucial to your firm’s security and its bottom line, so don’t skimp on security expertise and support. Gotham Security specializes in providing cyber security services and consultation to financial organizations, and we can help you make sure your response plan is iron-clad. Whether you need full-scale incident response through our managed security services, or you are looking to build your plan internally, we can help you successfully manage your risks. To get started, contact us at info@gotham-security.com or 917.734.4120.