The financial sector is a high-profile target for cyberattacks, and for good reason. Banks and affiliated networks are hotspots for sensitive data, confidential client information, and, of course, monetary spoils for malicious actors. The good news is that a large number of these breaches are easily preventable. But to prevent them in the first place, you’ll need to address what most banks struggle with: compliance with IT security regulations.

As 2020 draws to a close, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)’s National Risk Committee has released its report on risk analysis and retrospectives for fall 2020, officially known as the Semiannual Risk Perspective. The report reviews banks and potential breaking points in their security; this year, it also covers the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s a must-read for financial administrators.

One of the major fields of vulnerability addressed in the report is compliance—not just whether banks adhered to their minimum security requirements, but how they did nor did not evolve their security to deal with increasingly complex operational environments.

The OCC found that while banks are, on the whole, stable amid the pandemic, compliance-related risk is elevated and deserving of significantly more attention—particularly as government initiatives introduce new regulations.

Evolving Systems For Emerging Regulations

If you follow our blog, you know that the government is stepping up its game when it comes to IT security mandates. This is a net good for high-risk industries, but it also makes compliance a minefield for vulnerable entities to navigate; IT compliance can be costly and complicated to arrange for, and this puts additional pressure on financial institutions strung thin by the pandemic.

Consumer compliance regulations aim to address the risks inherent in financial systems, and more of these risks are discovered every year. Banks’ risk management systems should already be accounting for the evolving threat landscape, but if not, the regulations provide strong foundations for institutions unsure of where to start.

Yet resources are not infinite, and business models shift all the time. In a consistently uncertain world, it remains difficult to assess and compensate for a fast-moving, complicated risk environment, and the report finds that a troubling number of banks have fallen behind.

So how do you keep up with the regs? You can start with the right IT security partner to keep you informed and in compliance. Providers who specialize in the financial industry will ensure that you conform to the necessary standards, even as the regulatory landscape changes. With such expert guidance, you can also avoid potential fines and penalties from enforcement agencies, leaving resources open to invest in more advanced and robust security.

Keeping your assessments robust and your systems up to date are two simple but crucial steps toward building a stronger, more secure financial organization. You can also do your IT security team a favor by working with your assessment partner to keep apprised of developments in your industry’s compliance requirements; it will always cost more to catch up than it will to stay ahead of the game.

Beyond Compliance — Where The Criminals Are Working

Cybercriminals know the regulations, too, and they’re hoping you’ve either fallen behind in your compliance or that you’re only attending to the bare minimum standards. Their methods go far beyond just the regulations. So to stay secure, that means your audit provider should, too.

Hackers don’t stop at compliance, so neither does BAI Security. Our Compliance-PLUS Protection gives you all the benefits of our comprehensive Controls Audit, along with a deep dive examination of your protocols in light of today’s best practices in IT security and the latest advancements in hacking. Our experience and expertise in securing your financial environment is unparalleled, and with our Compliance-PLUS methodology, you’ll be uniquely equipped to protect your most important assets—including customer and community confidence.

For more information, don’t wait—contact us today.