Cybersecurity 101

cyber-securityAt a recent community banker conference, a round table discussion brought to light the different perspectives small community banks have for cybersecurity. It was interesting to hear a majority of the bankers that sat around discussing how they feel they have cybersecurity under control, yet not one had completed the Cybersecurity assessment that is now in the limelight for regulators.

Many of the attendees, some who are in charge of their IT, felt they have done adequate training and testing to prevent an attack. What they don’t realize is that is just scratching the surface of preventing an attack. The question you have to ask yourself, and one the President, Chairman and Board should be asking for answers on is “have we completed a thorough cybersecurity assessment?”.

A cybersecurity assessment helps banks identify their risks and determine their cybersecurity preparedness. Cyber security is not just an IT issue, it is a Board, Chairman and President issue that needs to be documented well. The Regulators plan to examine what steps banks have taken to assess cybersecurity risk in 2016. Unless you have specifically completed a cybersecurity assessment your regular IT audit will not suffice. A bank must also be able to show they are continuously monitoring these risks.

The Cyber Security Assessment tool was introduced this year by the FFIEC to help banks identify their risks and determine their cybersecurity preparedness.  While the assessment is voluntary, Regulators will be looking to see if banks have completed some type of cybersecurity assessment in 2015 and are monitoring the risks. Banks need to show Regulators they are being proactive and not reactive.

The Cybersecurity Assessment tool can be daunting for many banks but ABS has the resources to help ensure you complete an assessment thoroughly and accurately.  When it comes to cybersecurity, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re not IT-savvy, it’s well worth hiring an ABS consultant to get your assessment completed and make sure your business is safe.

ABS is here to help you survive and thrive so call today to schedule an assessment.