For all banks, the threat of a cyber-attack is at the forefront of their concerns. 2014 saw yet another rise in cybercrime, with no end in sight. What's more, many experts feel that financial institutions should be held to a higher standard of cybersecurity than other industries, as they regularly handle such desirable and highly sensitive information.
It is safe to say that any bank has several cybersecurity measures in place, likely including third-party tests of defenses, but now those protections will be tested again, this time by the New York Department of Financial Services. Recently, the NYDFS announced its New Cybersecurity Defense Exam. The test is meant to help banks maintain up-to-date technology and methods, but it also encourages these institutions to think of cybersecurity as an essential part of risk management. Perhaps the best motivation to take this exam seriously is the announcement that the Securities and Exchanges Commission may publicize the test results.
These new measures are likely only the first steps in coming cybersecurity regulations. For all financial institutions, the time has come to value cybersecurity more than ever.
As threats - and the tests meant to prevent them - increase and become more sophisticated, banks will benefit not only from seeking help from IT professionals, but also by prioritizing their advice and expertise.