Achieving Optimal Cybersecurity for Financial Institutions of All Sizes

Securus360

THE RISKS FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Not too many years ago, only the largest financial institutions faced significant threats from cyber criminals but that situation has changed. Data and network security has advanced but as regulatory demands as well as market demands change, financial institutions constantly upgrade and change technology solutions to give customers easier access and to better manage data operations. With additional interfaces and data mining designed for targeted customer offerings, the technology seems to evolve within an institution on a continual basis. The technology for cyber crime has changed too, and what was once the work of individual criminal hackers is now a fully industrialized organized crime. This industrialization allows criminals to target many financial firms at once with the same resources they previously would expend targeting only the largest firms. According to the Data Breach Investigations Report, now in its thirteenth year, mid-market financial institutions are experiencing increased incidents of attack.

The fluidity of the technology has a great deal to do with the increasing frequency of attacks. Rapid changes in technological infrastructure and interface create cyber security challenges. A single change in how data is accessed can create opportunity for cyber criminals and increase the likelihood of security incidents. With continual regulatory demands and the increasing demands of customers, the technological changes are inescapable, which means even mid-market financial firms must put into place an effective plan for data protection and cyber security.

The Cyber Security Spending Gap in Financial Institution Segments

The large financial firms are making enormous investments in cyber security, spending tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure solutions and tens of millions in salaries for internal security teams that can include more than one-hundred highly specialized and talented cyber security professionals. Millions are also spent on a broad range of cyber security technologies that include-

  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technologies.
  • UBA, meaning User Behavior Analytics.
  • Network Tracking Analysis (NTA) technologies.
  • Hidden threat detection via machine learning technologies.
  • Platforms to collect and analyze big data sets, large enough to enable advanced threat detection.
  • Global intelligence gathering and analysis in massive-scale to correlate external data with internal data, allowing extrapolation technologies to predict incoming attacks.
  • Technologies to manage and orchestrate responses to security breaches in order optimize response times, accelerate threat containment and mitigate breach damage.

Unfortunately, while large firms spend exorbitant amounts to obtain the benefits of next generation cyber security, the vast majority of small and mid-sized financial firms cannot invest in cyber defense in like manner and thus do not have access to the same resources.

And yet, small and mid-sized financial firms nonetheless face the same cyber threats as the larger players.

The Cyber Security Solution for Mid–Market Financial Firms

Without the budgets or resources of large financial firms, the task of ensuring data and network security seems unachievable. However, mid-sized financial firms have options because next-generation managed cyber security services have become available in the form of Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) services. MXDRs differ from first generation Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) of the past. MXDR firms offer a full suite of security solutions and services enabling earlier detection and faster response at a dramatically lower cost compared to operating those functions in-house. For firms unable to manage the threats internally, MXDR services can provide effective protection at a very reasonable price point.

Managed eXtended Detection & Response Decision Making Criteria

In order for a small or mid-sized financial firm to evaluate appropriate Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) software and services, an understanding of key requirements in critical. The best MXDR solutions will include the following:

  • Managed Detection
    • Effective detection must delve deeper than traditional signature-based detection services. Managed detection requires advanced analytics on a significant scale.
  • Managed Response
    • Responding to a threat must include more than simple notification. The best MXDR programs will include automated responses based on pre-determined courses of action, escalation workflows, that lead to faster threat containment and damage mitigation.
  • Proprietary AI Platform
    • The most effective MXDR will include a fully-integrated artificial intelligence (AI) platform that not only analyzes the copious and ever growing amount of threat data but also automate the threat reaction process with the goal of achieving near real-time responses.
  • Human Intelligence
    • The most effective MXDR will include Human Intelligence in the form of highly trained cybersecurity analysts that can vet and analyze alerts and incidents of compromise in a way that eliminates false positives going to the client

In short, an effective MXDR service should be an AI-driven MXDR service to optimize protection throughout the entirety of a threat’s lifecycle.

PHASES OF MANAGED EXTENDED DETECTION AND RESPONSE

Securus360 has identified distinct phases of threat management and provides an AI-driven MXDR service for each phase. Our MXDR platform manages and coordinates appropriate actions during each step of the threat’s lifecycle. There are two categories of threat management 1.) Detection Phases and 2.) Response Phases.

Detection Phases

  1. Phase One: Threat Anticipation
    This phase analyzes potential incoming threats as well as unsuccessful attacks through the use of current as well as past data, allowing the system to determine which threats pose a real threat and how to most effectively address them. Effective MXDR, like that offered by Securus360, will flag likely incidents and eliminate false positives thereby prioritizing response times and resources to most effectively safeguard data and systems.
  2. Phase Two: Threat Hunting
    The purpose of this phase is to determine your network vulnerability in terms of threats traditional cybersecurity misses. This includes analytics of endpoint threats, user behavior threats, network threats and application threats. Effective MXDR such as that provided by Securus360 analyzes terabytes of data, in terms of seconds rather than minutes and deploys hundreds of AI models to note threats throughout your system that traditional cybersecurity tools will miss.
  3. Phase Three: Security Monitoring
    Rather than limiting security to currently mandated monitoring for compliance purposes, effective MXDR such as that provided by Securus360 goes well beyond the requirements by constantly observing the level of risk to which your assets, users, data, external IPs, and processes are exposed.

Response Phases

  1. Phase One: Incident Analysis
    In this phase, all incidents of compromise are immediately analyzed so appropriate responses can be ascertained. This includes validation of the threat, investigation of the threat and quick isolation of actual threats from false positives. An effective MXDR such as that provided by Securus360 filters irrelevant data so only likely incidents are addressed. By scoring data by relevance, prioritized response is maximized.
  2. Phase Two: Auto Containment
    Any MXDR system should include automatic containment of potential threats to mitigate damages immediately. With prepared routines and actions (playbooks) determined ahead of time as well as containment procedures and ticketing processes to allow human intervention, this phase serves as a “quarantine” to limit network exposure to damage. The solution offered by Securus360 contains hundreds of automatically executed playbooks and the continual AI learning means new playbooks are added with each incident. This allows effective threat containment in near real time.
  3. Phase Three: Response Orchestration
    This phase, like a fine tailored suit, is fully bespoke, designed according to your unique organization and the specific compromise your network has suffered. This phase specifically reduces time of vulnerability from weeks to hours and prevents attackers from exploiting the same weakness repeatedly.

Learn How AI-Driven MXDR Can Protect Your Financial Institution

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