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10 Rules To Ensure Cyber Security Of A Lending Business

Written by Ryan Terrey
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Cyber security is a critical aspect of the operations of any business. Lenders are especially vulnerable due to the sensitive data they hold, from bank accounts to customer creditworthiness. 

It is, therefore, essential that lenders take appropriate steps to ensure that their systems and data remain secure at all times. In this article, we discuss 10 rules that should be followed in order to ensure cyber security for a lending business.

1. Establish strong passwords

Our first rule may seem like a no-brainer, but it is truly the foundation of a safe and secure business: make a point of creating strong passwords. Always meet the length requirements; combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. 

A well-written password can prove effective against brute force attacks or dictionary attacks where hackers use common words or phrases within predefined lists. 

The complexity should be based on organizational cyber-security policies and must be changed regularly. Be sure to implement identity authentication measures such as two-factor authentication when logging into an account or system access points. 

2. Secure company networks

Securing company networks should include patching and updating software regularly to reduce risk exposure from outdated or unpatched versions. These versions may have exploitable vulnerabilities that could put your business in serious danger. 

Other anti-virus protection measures should also be taken, like installing proper e-mail server filters and personal firewall gateways onto every network device used throughout your organization. This will help filter out malicious traffic attempts coming both internally and externally. 

VPNs such as NordVPN and Expressvpn are great for encrypting data, particularly when employees are accessing financial documents remotely and require a secure connection.

3. Implement access controls & monitor access

Access control serves the purpose of limiting the level of accessibility that employees have to specific confidential files. These controls can effectively protect data stored on servers and should be implemented as soon as possible. 

Administrators should be able to audit who logged in, when, and from what computer so proper investigation can occur if something goes wrong (e.g., unauthorized file transfers). This will also add an extra layer of security against insider threat attempts by letting managers detect potential accidental or malicious activities with more ease.

4. Educate staff about cyber security risks

Awareness among all members of staff is key when it comes to protecting against cyber threats. Investing in cybersecurity and educating staff on best security practices, such as identifying phishing attacks and spotting suspicious messages, is vital for ensuring their safety online. Thorough education helps to protect your business’s sensitive data from prying eyes.

5. Lock down critical systems

Critical systems are those which contain sensitive customer information and banking details. They need to be secured and locked down so that only high-level staff authorized with special permissions can access them, meaning no accidental leakage or malicious attacks occur. For added protection, use encrypted passwords to further protect systems and data from potential hacking attempts. 

6. Use reliable cloud computing solutions

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular in the business world thanks to its storage capacity and efficiency when compared with traditional on-premise systems. However, lenders need to ensure that their clouds are reliable and secure so as not to become victims of cyber-attacks.

In these attacks, confidential data may be exposed by third parties inside or outside the company. It’s crucial to request uptime SLAs and add extra security layers according to your own security policies. Use encryption methods like SSL resources available through self-hosted applications.

7. Have a stringent backup regime in place

Regular backups should be taken at least once per day or weekly, depending on how active you are. Following a regime will provide you with peace of mind knowing that whatever happens, all your critical information will remain safe and accessible – even if disaster strikes. 

It’s advisable to store your backups securely offsite, either through physical tapes or digital archives. Backing up onto more than one drive also provides an extra layer of redundancy; there may be times when only one copy is damaged due to internal threats or natural disasters like floods or fire.

8. Monitor system logs

System logs are essentially the breadcrumb trails left behind by users and various application processes. They provide insight as to how your websites, applications, and servers interact with each other. Lenders need to keep track of these logs in order to identify wasteful operations and malicious intents that may have infiltrated their systems. 

Most modern log management solutions have automation capabilities where they monitor all activity across your IT infrastructure in real-time, alerting you when things go awry and allowing quick responses before any catastrophic damage has been done. 

9. Implement physical security measures

Physical security is another key part of ensuring cyber security. Staff should be briefed on what measures must be taken, such as never leaving a computer unattended or powered up outside of locked offices (e.g., laptops).

Having CCTV surveillance in both server rooms and workstations will help stop possible hacking attempts. It might seem far-fetched, but individuals can gain access inside these buildings undetected if proper safeguarding isn’t adopted throughout the premises at large.

10. Secure data destruction process

Lenders should make a habit of securely deleting old customer information held within databases and filing systems – especially if they no longer require them for legal reasons. 

This can be done by simply shredding physical paper copies. Consider using digital erasing software such as File Shredder & Secure Eraser, which provide secure options when purging confidential data from hard drives and leave no trace behind.

Wrap Up

These are 10 simple and effective rules that lenders should adopt to ensure their cyber security is up to date. Cyber security is an ongoing process, and all lending businesses should take these measures seriously in order to protect their customers' data and remain compliant with relevant regulations. 

By following the above practices, lenders can rest assured that they have taken adequate steps towards protecting themselves against cyber threats while safeguarding customer data at the same time.

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