Financial Security Vulnerability Management | Core Security

Financial Security Services and Access Control Software

Manage vulnerability and access risks in a high-stakes threat environment

As high-value targets for cybercriminals, organizations in the financial sector constantly face security threats from both internal and external sources.

External threats are typically motivated by threat actors who seek to gain access to online banking systems through banking websites or VPN connections to steal account information, create chaos, or to see how deeply they can penetrate the network itself. Internal threats often arise from disgruntled employees, third party vendor vulnerabilities, or human error in response to phishing emails or other social engineering threats.

Both external and internal security threats expose sensitive financial information, customer data, and networks that manage account balances and transactions, eroding consumer confidence and causing disruption in the industry. 

These sophisticated threats and targeted attacks continue to test the readiness of financial services institutions and their security teams. We support financial services organizations by offering solutions to help them easily identify, prioritize, and manage vulnerability and access risks in a continuously changing threat landscape.

Top Cyberthreats for Financial Organizations

Attackers use a variety of threat vectors to attack organizations in the financial industry. Some of the leading threats include:

Social engineering
Ransomware
Supply Chain Attacks 

Advancing Regulatory Compliance

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The pressure to maintain regulatory compliance in financial services is high and organizations are required to understand how to deal with changing financial cybersecurity regulations. Securing data, effectively managing the use of sensitive information, controlling access to systems and payments, managing business viability through stress tests, and ensuring appropriate roles and relationships between users and key stakeholders is an ongoing requirement for organizations in the financial sector. The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 was created to protect investors by focusing on improving financial accountability. SOX established a number of provisions to improve transparency, reduce fraud, and outline penalties for those financial institutions found in violation. 

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) has also played a prominent role in financial services regulations. PCI compliance ensures financial services organizations accept and use payment card information to protect account data. The importance of PCI compliance has become a strategic imperative within the financial services sector and requires that organizations annually validate that they are complying by passing a vulnerability scan based on their number of card transactions and size. The increasing demands on financial services security teams can cause strain to keep up with not only cyberattacks, but also obligations to auditors at each level of government.

These two are some of the most widely known requirements. However, there are a number of other compliance regulations that apply to financial services, if not specifically, then in part. 

The European General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR) provides overarching guidelines for securing the personal data of EU citizens, by financial institutions or others. It applies to both data processors and data controllers, and outlines requirements to protect the entire lifecycle of the consumer’s data. The UK-GDPR does the same thing, with some adjustments, for citizens of countries within the UK as they are outside the jurisdiction of the European Union. 

Another European financial regulation, The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), supports competition within the banking sector. All banks and financial institutions within the EU are under its jurisdiction and must comply with its requirements to enhance customer data protection, secure online payments, and support strong authentication measures. PSD2 falls under the umbrella of PCI DSS. 

In the United States, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), referred to alternatively as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, prevents banks from laundering money - either voluntarily or by force (a cybersecurity attack). Regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the BSA holds banks to standards which require them to detect terrorist financing, deter instances of money laundering, and report said activities to law enforcement. 

The Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) requires U.S. financial institutions to be transparent about their data sharing practices and safeguard sensitive consumer information. That means companies in the financial services sector must give their customers “clear and conspicuous” written notice of their privacy practices, particularly when dealing with NPI, or “personally identifiable financial information”. These instances must include an opt-out notice for companies to stay compliant. The GLBA is mandatory for all organizations offering consumer financial products like loans, insurance, or financial and investment advice.

All federally supervised financial institutions must comply with The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) regulations, which prescribe “uniform principles, standards, and report forms”, including cybersecurity best practices. These include guidelines on audit, business continuity planning, information security, wholesale payment systems, and more.

Leading-Edge Cybersecurity Solutions for Financial Institutions

Financial organizations today require sophisticated cybersecurity solutions that can address the increasing requirements of keeping customer and financial data secure, mitigating the risk of threats, and fully adhering to compliance requirements. With the right strategy, solutions, and services, organizations in the financial sector can isolate and prioritize their most critical security weaknesses, and easily manage mandated compliance audits.

Vulnerability Management

The cornerstone of a solid cybersecurity strategy is always vulnerability management. With every new IoT device, financial service application, or FinTech integration comes a host of new risks. The software supply chain alone is enough to introduce unknown threats as many developers pull from open-source coding libraries with bugs of their own. Those risks need to be continuously evaluated, prioritized, and remediated, and  vulnerability management solutions enable that process. From discovery to prioritization and re-testing, a mature vulnerability management program can show you where you stand, make sure you’re on the right side of compliance regulations, and gain critical buy-in for the security initiatives. 

Solutions Benefit

Decrease the Threat Surface

Credit card numbers and other sensitive financial information are stolen more frequently than almost any other records. By assuring that the right people have the proper access to these records, and continuously monitoring for both insider and outsider threats, financial institutions can reduce the chance that this data is compromised. With the right IGA solutions, financial organizations can also effectively create and manage user accounts, streamline the provisioning process, and ensure regulatory compliance to decrease the overall threat surface and significantly reduce identity related risks.

Boost Operational Efficiencies

Financial services organizations must also ensure they prioritize risks based on their Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) score and determine how these risks impact their network structure. By conducting penetration testing with our industry-leading solution, banking and financial institutions can increase visibility into the effectiveness of their defenses, reveal their most pressing risks, and then work to actively address these vulnerabilities. Ongoing advanced threats also represent a particularly dangerous risk for financial organizations because data is not the only target for attacks. Running advanced red teaming engagements with post-exploitation tools like Cobalt Strike and OST enables security teams to bolster their defenses and better respond to skilled attackers.

Reduce Costs

While financial services security has increased in recent years, vulnerability to attacks remains high. Financial institutions must continue to invest in leading-edge vulnerability and access risk management solutions to decrease the risk of attack and to save millions of dollars potentially in response to a data breach. Financial services teams can leverage solutions thateasily and correctly provision users through a visual-first approach and guarantee access is protected. With automated provisioning and mobile password reset, security teams also spend less time on administrative work and more time protecting your network.

Manage Access to Sensitive Data

The tremendous amount of sensitive data that financial services organizations must protect has led to the rise in increased compliance regulations in the last two decades. Regulations like SOX, PCI, and other financial industry mandates mean that organizations must find and use effective solutions that enable them to proactively monitor for potential risks that may prevent them from full compliance. Core Security provides Identity Governance and Administration solutions to reduce identity related risks and enable financial institutions to properly manage access to systems, applications and devices—and ensure compliance in a highly regulated industry.