Financial institutions have greater chances to better serve their consumers as their digital footprint grows, but they also face high rate cyber attack. The assault surface grows with each new tool. A higher number of security breaches could result from more potential security holes.
In 2020, 17 percent of firms will receive 100,000 or more daily security warnings, according to the Cisco CISO Benchmark report. That pattern has maintained after the pandemic. Common vulnerabilities and exposures peaked in 2021 with 20,141, breaking the previous record of 18,325 set in 2020.
The main message is that the financial sector’s adoption of digital technology is continuing apace. As a result, cyber security teams will require means of obtaining precise, real-time visibility into their attack surface. Next, prioritize the vulnerabilities that are most likely to be exploited for patching.
Traditional Security Validation Methods
Financial organizations have historically evaluated their security posture using a variety of methodologies.
Breach and assault modeling
Breach and attack simulation, or BAS, simulates various attack routes that a hostile actor can take in order to find vulnerabilities. While this enables dynamic control validation, it is agent-based and challenging to implement. Additionally, it restricts the simulations to a pre-established playbook, which implies the breadth can never be fully realized.
Manual testing for intrusions
Organizations can perform manual penetration testing to see how well controls for a bank, for instance, stand up to actual attacks while also getting additional information from the attacker’s point of view. However, this procedure can be expensive and is, at most, only carried out a few times annually. As a result, it is unable to offer real-time insight. Furthermore, the outcomes are always based on the expertise and scope of the outside penetration tester. During a penetration test, if a person were to overlook an exploitable vulnerability, it might go unnoticed until it was used by an attacker.
Vulnerability scans are automated tests of a company’s network. These can be scheduled and run at any time – as often as desired. However, they’re limited in the context they can provide. In most cases, a cybersecurity team will only receive a CVSS severity rating (none, low, medium, high, or critical) for each issue detected by the scan. Their team will carry the burden of researching and resolving the issue.
Vulnerability scans also pose the problem of alert fatigue. With so many real threats to deal with, security teams in the financial industry need to be able to focus on the exploitable vulnerabilities that can potentially cause the most business impact.
A Glimmer of Hope
Automated Security Validation, or ASV, offers a novel and precise strategy. For comprehensive attack surface management, it includes vulnerability scans, control validation, real exploitation, and risk-based remedial suggestions.
Financial institutions receive ongoing coverage from ASV, which offers real-time information into their security posture. The most complete view of their whole risk environment is provided by combining internal and external coverage. Additionally, it goes far further than a scenario-based simulation because it simulates the actions of a real-world attacker.
How ASV is used in the Financial Sector
Banks, credit unions, and insurance providers require a high level of security to safeguard the information of their customers, which virtually goes without saying. They also need to comply with regulations set forth by organizations like FINRA and PCI-DSS.
So, how do they go about it? Many people are making investments in automated security validation technologies that display their actual security risk at any given time. They then use these tools’ insights to develop repair strategies. Following this path are financial institutions like Sander Capital Management:
Step 1: Knowing their assault surface
They are gaining a thorough awareness of their domains, IPs, networks, services, and websites by using Penetration to map their web-facing attack surface.
Step 2: Challenge their assault surface
They are discovering entire attack vectors, both internal and external, while safely exploiting the mapped assets using the most recent attack tactics.
This equips them with the knowledge they need to recognize what is actually exploitable and worthwhile of remediation efforts.
Step 3: Sorting cleanup actions according to impact
They are able to identify the business effect of each security hole and prioritize the root cause of each confirmed attack vector by using attack path emulation. This provides their team with a simpler road map to safeguard their company.
Step 4: Putting their remedial plan into action
These financial institutions are empowering their security teams to close gaps and assess the effect of their efforts on their entire IT posture by using a cost-effective remediation list.
Do you know where your organization’s weak points are so you can address them before an attacker exploits them against you?