By Alon Bar, Product Marketing Manager
Banks were attacked on average 700 times every week during the past year, a 53% increase YoY. From Phishing scams and Denial-of-Service attacks to sophisticated attacks by nation-state actors, cyber threats targeting banks are continually on the rise. In this blog series, we will present real-life stories from banks worldwide, the specific challenges they faced, and the solutions they leveraged to overcome the challenge and bolster their security posture.
The main banking technology trends that increase cyber vulnerability
- Growing adoption of new technologies spurred on by digital transformations
- Hybrid data centers are becoming the norm
- Widespread migrations to the public cloud for multiple applications
- Increased use of online and mobile channels for banking needs
- The ongoing state of remote work due to a pandemic that’s not going away
- Accelerating the proliferation of IoT devices
- Extensive deployment of SD-WAN connectivity for remote branches
As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve and become more dangerous every year, protecting a bank’s IT infrastructure will only continue to become more and more challenging. This first blog will focus on the Banks’ top cyber security challenges
Banks need network security that performs at the speed of business. This is the key to transferring hundreds of terabytes of data securely and in minutes, as well as to providing low latency for high-frequency financial transactions and for scaling security on-demand to support a hyper-growth business such as online commerce.
The main challenges to achieving these goals include assuring:
- Zero trust, granular network segmentation to prevent lateral movement
- The secure transfer of hundreds of terabytes
- Low latency for ongoing high-frequency financial transactions
- Simplifying cumbersome management and gaining visibility across on-premise and cloud datacenters
Check Point’s Network Security solutions simplify the bank’s security posture management and streamline and scale operations for continued business growth.
Specifically, the Quantum Network Security solution provides ultra-scalable protection against Gen V cyber-attacks on the network, cloud, data center, IoT, and remote users.
As banks move data and workloads to the cloud, they need to ensure that cloud assets and data are secured and meet compliance with regulations such as those from the US’s Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and the European Banking Association (EBA).
But modern cloud deployments are tremendously complex, typically spanning multiple clouds. So, while public cloud providers do invest extensive efforts into security, the bank still remains the one who is accountable for assuring the organization’s cybersecurity.
Achieving this goal entails multiple challenges:
- Unified security management across clouds and an on-premise datacenter
- Detecting and remediating misconfigurations in real-time
- Streamlining and assuring governance
- Meeting stringent compliance and privacy regulations
Check Point offers comprehensive security and compliance solutions for financial service organizations’ multi-cloud environments. With CloudGuard Network Security, they get advanced, multi-layered cloud network security across public and private clouds.
Managing a bank’s security operations is a complex undertaking entailing many tasks for keeping up with ever-changing security needs:
- Translating demanding industry regulations into security frameworks easily and efficiently
- Defining, accelerating, and enforcing ongoing policy update installations
- Assuring operational efficiency amidst numerous time-consuming manual processes
- Delivering quick security system upgrades and security gateways updates with no impact on business continuity
Check Point enables banks to cut operation management by up to 80% with unified security management across all cloud and network environments, as well as to centrally manage thousands of security gateways.
With the R81 Unified Cyber Security Platform, the industry’s most advanced threat prevention and security management software, they get uncompromising simplicity and consolidation across the enterprise.
A bank’s applications drive the business. And as they evolve and grow, they expose more APIs causing the attack surface to grow as well.
Cybercriminals are exploiting this phenomenon, attacking web applications and APIs with advanced methods that include SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and deploying automatic scripts known as “bots.”
These attacks are damaging and costly, and the ability to secure applications has never been more critical.
But detecting and preventing these attacks is challenging, requiring the bank to implement app-specific security defenses, such as building security into their mobile apps from the get-go.
When they don’t, the implications are dire, with great damage that can be incurred to customer security and the bank’s reputation.
Banks can protect web apps and APIs from cyber security attacks and build secure mobile apps from the get-go with Check Point’s CloudGuard AppSec, which automates financial service applications and API protection, and with Harmony App Protect for securing e-banking mobile apps.
With remote users connecting to corporate applications more than ever, the organization’s attack surface has never been wider.
To assure advanced protection of its remote workforce, a bank must secure:
- All devices, including tablets, mobile, BYOD, and managed devices
- Users while browsing the internet and using email and collaboration apps
- Third parties, including contractors, consultants, and partners accessing devices and applications
And, they must ensure zero-trust access to corporate applications from anywhere.
The Check Point Harmony family of products provides uncompromised protection and simplicity for the financial services sector and includes:
Harmony Endpoint for comprehensive endpoint protection at the highest security level and for avoiding security breaches and data compromise.
Harmony Mobile for complete protection of the mobile workforce, with simple deployment, management, and scale.
Harmony Connect for easily connecting any user to any resource, anywhere, without compromising security.
Harmony Email and Collaboration for complete protection of Office 365, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Google Drive, using the Avanan technology.
Connecting branches directly to the cloud significantly increase the risk of attack via malicious files, malware, zero-day, bots, viruses, APTs, and more.
To mitigate the risk, many banks are seeking to enable their branches with SD-WAN connectivity to the internet and cloud, and to do so gradually for assuring enhanced security.
Check Point solutions assure secure SD-WAN connections to the internet and cloud to protect the bank’s remote branch offices from every threat. With Quantum Edge connected banks facilities on-premises are secured with top-rated threat prevention.
From IP cameras and smart elevators to access devices and printers, IoT networked devices are constantly under attack.
Though assuring protection is a great challenge for banks, requiring the ability to:
- Identify every IoT device on the network
- Apply and manage multiple and complex IoT policies
- Protect the network and as well as all IoT assets
Check Point’s IoT Protect enables banks to secure the IoT network against cyberattacks, from IP cameras to smart elevators, and so much more, delivering capabilities that include:
- An advanced discovery service that leverages a built-in discovery engine
- Seamless policy management that provides autonomous zero-trust segmentation and automation, with AI and behavioral learning-based analysis
- Real-time threat prevention with virtual patching and protection activation against device exploit, with continuous updates from ThreatCloud
One of the biggest challenges faced by almost every security organization, including the bank’s, is the global shortage in cybersecurity experts.
It is also very difficult to stay up-to-date and maintain compliance readiness with continually updated regulations.
And running a 24/7 security operation can be very demanding – requiring the orchestration of siloed tools, keeping the right headcount, providing right-time training to existing and new staff, controlling alert fatigue, and reducing false positives.
The key to overcoming the challenge is to augment security design, deployment, operation, and optimization with the support of an industry-leading cybersecurity team of experts.
This is where Check Point comes in. Our experts provide support for every phase and need along the cybersecurity journey.
With dozens of cumulative years of Check Point experience, the team executes superlative security design, seamless deployments, and any other operations and optimization-related needs.
We offer professional services with long and short-term engineers who make sure that your organization is always up to date, performing efficiently, and is compliance-ready, whether through manual execution or full automation.
Additional services include:
- Advanced Technical Account Management (ATAM)
- Cyber Resilience Testing (CRT)
- Lifecycle Management Services (LCMS)
- Incident Response provided by our Incident Response Team (IRT)
- Managed Services with managed detection & response (MDR)
- Security Consulting Services
- Security Training
Moreover, Check Point provides complete security operations as-a-service that includes the Check Point Managed Detection & Response (MDR) service for detecting and responding faster to real attacks anywhere in the organization by leveraging our managed SecOps services.
With Infinity MDR, the Check Point MDR team monitors, detects, investigates, hunts, responds, and remediates attacks on the environment, covering the entire infrastructure, including the network, endpoint, email, and more.
Check Point enables banks to provide advanced digital services to their customers with the highest level of security to their network, cloud, users, and access, with the Quantum, CloudGuard, Harmony, and Infinity families of products.
By adopting a consolidated security approach with Check Point Infinity architecture and services, banks realize preemptive protection against advanced fifth-generation attacks while achieving a 50% increase in operational efficiency and a 20% reduction in security costs.
This broad cybersecurity offering of solutions and services from Check Point is enabling 6,500 financial institutions around the world to overcome their toughest challenges today by:
- Protecting the bank’s network and hybrid datacenter
- Assuring a secure and compliant cloud migration
- Simplifying compliance and the complexity of security operations
- Securing advanced e-Banking services
- Enabling a secure remote workforce
- Enabling secure SD-WAN connectivity for branches
- Securing the bank’s IoT network and devices against attacks
- Augmenting security with the support of cybersecurity experts