The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued two statements about ways that financial institutions can identify and mitigate cyber attacks that compromise user credentials or use destructive software.
The statements do not contain any new regulatory expectations, but are intended to alert financial institutions to specific risk mitigation related to the threats associated with destructive malware.
In addition, the Exam Council provided information on what institutions can do to prepare for and respond to these threats.
Cyber attacks have increased in frequency and severity over the past two years. The attacks often involve the theft of credentials used by customers, employees, and third parties to authenticate themselves when accessing business applications and systems.
Cyber criminals can use stolen credentials to commit fraud or identity theft; modify and disrupt information system; and obtain, destroy, or corrupt data.
Also, cyber criminals often introduce malware to business systems through e-mail attachments, connecting infected external devices, such as USB drives, to computers or networks, or by introducing the malware directly onto the business systems using compromised credentials.
Cyber guidance from Exam Council
In accordance with FFIEC guidance, institutions should:
• Securely configure systems and services.
• Review, update, and test incident response and business continuity plans.
• Conduct ongoing information security risk assessments.
• Perform security monitoring, prevention, and risk mitigation.
• Protect against unauthorized access.
• Implement and test controls around critical systems regularly.
• Enhance information security awareness and training programs.
• Participate in industry information-sharing forums, such as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Suggested resources from FFIEC
The Exam Council also highlighted the following resources that provide practical information for strengthening user awareness regarding safe online practices.
Read the FFIEC’s two statements at:
- Cybersecurity Risk Factors, M&As in the Age of COVID-19
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