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On internet, you need cyber defense!

You will be attacked—there is no doubt. Too many banks still rely on firewalls and passwords

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission.

Financial institutions are inextricably attached to the internet. If you were to conduct an enterprise-wide survey, you would most likely conclude that over 50% of your banking applications are powered by the cloud and that percentage is growing. Enter in the customer and their mobile lifestyle, be it business or pleasure, and you will find that the majority of your interaction is powered by internet-based services.

And what does your bank have for security today?

A firewall!

That’s it. Oh, and password rules that don’t expire. And no multifactor authentication. And monitoring 8-5 Monday through Friday. Add it up, there are more holes in the security systems at the average community financial institution than a field full of prairie dogs!

Time to rethink protection

It is clear we, as an industry, are at risk and this risk is growing exponentially.

Institutions need to think beyond the firewall and develop and implement an approach with a system that is “On Watch” and prepared to defend your enterprise all the time, anytime, 7x24x365! 

Cyber security should take the form of a spherical defense, with your customers’ information in the middle and in the deepest part.

Your systems should be situationally aware and prepared to take immediate and decisive action when a potential compromise or attack is detected.

Tactics are critical here. You need to think this through. You do not want your response to be too late. Nor do you want to tip off the attacker that you are onto them; that in itself is valuable information to the intruder. Most community banks will need to hire a professional organization to assist them in developing the right defensive system. 

No holidays for hackers

The sad scenario: Don’t be the CIO that tells the CEO on Tuesday after a three-day weekend that the bank was attacked, the database was hacked, and the customer data was stolen.

And that you did not check your email until Tuesday morning. 

Attacks occur when you least expect them and at your weakest point.

Do you know your weaknesses? Your enemy does!

Start your own Department of Defense and be ready!

The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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