Cybercrime is a major concern for the financial services industry. Cyberattacks hit financial firms 300 times more than other organizations. Why? Because financial data is valuable, and the opportunity is great. Complex financial IT systems create a vast attack surface.


Security breaches continue to grow in both frequency and severity. And US financial firms are highly targeted, accounting for 27% of significant global cyberattacks against financial firms (followed by the UK, Japan, and Russia).


Meanwhile, the associated costs are rising. An Accenture study found that the average annualized cost of data breaches for financial services companies has increased to $18.5 million. The impact on an organization’s reputation is incalculable.


Security risks come throughout the customer journey, from mobile apps to the teller queue to loan origination. As mobile banking has proliferated, customers expect 24/7 access to their banking lives. And yet, 92% of mobile banking apps contain at least one medium-risk security vulnerability according to ImmuniWeb.


Network monitoring simplifies security management
As attacks grow more frequent and dangerous, financial organizations are doubling down their security efforts. Organizations are investing in extended IT infrastructure monitoring to scan for breaches, failures, malware, and other system anomalies. What’s more, they’re adopting tools that can automate security processes – an essential function given the sheer volume of attacks on financial systems.


Attackers won’t stop innovating and searching for new ways into financial networks. But solutions are available to address the pain points financial service IT teams are concerned with most, including:
  • Comprehensive IT monitoring. The ideal system will provide complete observability of your IT infrastructure. Know what devices are present on your network. Everything from servers, routers, cloud devices, applications, and storage systems should be monitored by one tool.

    Clicking on any device should give immediate access to a wealth of related network monitoring settings and reports. Be able to determine the health of any network component and track performance indicators such as bandwidth, latency, availability, and uptime.

  • Intelligent notifications. Look for a robust alert system that immediately flags any concerning activity. Alerts should be customizable and deliverable via various channels (for example email, web, text, Slack, Teams, etc.)

    But too many alerts can overwhelm your IT team. Over a third (37%) of banks receive more than 200,000 security alerts a day, according to research from Ovum. Most of those alerts are irrelevant.

    The right monitoring systems can be set up so that alerts are only issued when someone has to log in and react. What’s more, particularly sophisticated network monitoring solutions can not only identify device dependencies to reduce alert storms but can also implement self-healing actions (like restarting a device) that can resolve network issues without IT intervention.

  • Deep traffic monitoring. Financial organizations need detailed visibility into network traffic to see which users, applications, and devices are consuming the most bandwidth. Unusual usage and activity spikes could point to a security issue.

  • Network configuration. Protect against accidental or malicious network device configuration changes. Be sure your organization gets notifications whenever a configuration changes. Better yet, the system will also allow your organization to set up an action policy that can automate certain actions like running a backup, removing users, or updating firmware.

  • Log management. Monitor logs and set up alerts for meta trends like log volume changes. Filter and archive logs for any retention period to comply with regulatory requirements.
Additional security measures
IT infrastructure monitoring is a financial institution’s core line of defense against cyberattacks. Organizations can use their own pre-set alert policies combined with the power of AI and machine learning to see where attacks are coming from and anticipate issues before there’s a problem.


Another type of monitoring is network Detection and Response (NDR), which examines the flow of traffic within a network. NDR is a multilayered approach to security that harnesses behavior analysis, algorithms, machine learning, baselining, reputational data and more. It can be used to anticipate and automate responses to detected threats that have made it past your perimeter defenses and have begun to deploy within the network.


Of course, network monitoring alone is not the answer. Updated password policies, two-factor authentication, and customer education campaigns play an important role. Meanwhile, employee security awareness training and testing are also critical to keep your organization’s team updated on security threats and their role in prevention.
About Author:
Larry Goldman is the Senior Manager of Product Marketing for the Progress Application Experience portfolio, which includes WhatsUp Gold, Kemp LoadMaster and Flowmon. He’s an accomplished marketing leader with 20+ years in enterprise software, SaaS, services and technical B2B marketing for global organizations.

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