It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month and that means ensuring the safety of your financial institution and cardholders through technology. Whether it’s your company’s computers or your cardholders’ smartphones, any device in today’s tech-savvy world has the potential to be hacked or abused in order for others to gain information, data or money from your organization. It’s important your organization takes precautionary steps for everyone’s safety.
At ampliFI, we have a team of security experts that continuously monitor trends on cybersecurity and implement best practices to help ensure our clients and their cardholders are protected. Below are four tactics our security experts recommend organizations implement to improve their cybersecurity.
Set Up a Multi-Factor Authentication Process
It’s important to create a process that makes it difficult for anyone except the intended user to access secure information, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a great way to do so. Through this process, the user accessing the information must go through two or more steps to access an area, which may include a password, an authentication code, an email, a phone call or even management approval. Although this is often utilized in organizations, not all financial institutions use it for cardholder and customer accounts, which could cause vulnerabilities for your organization and cardholders. 37% of digital threats to financial institutions is through data breaches that could be avoided with multi-factor authentication, making MFA increasingly important as technology and hacking continues to expand its capabilities.
Encrypt All Data and Transactions
As a financial institution, you may require external support from other companies to execute programs or features, which could require data exchanges. When sending information, such as financial data and transaction information, ensure that everything is encrypted and it can only be accessed by those who understand how to gain access. Encryption is a process of encoding data into an alternative form to ensure that the plain eye cannot view the data. An encryption key is often required to decipher the code. For example, ampliFI Loyalty Solutions provides a suite of loyalty program features to our clients, and all data that flows into our systems is encrypted to ensure that the financial institution and ampliFI are protected in the event of a cyber attack or breach since the attacker wouldn’t be able to decode the files being sent.
It’s important to understand that, unless a secure email service is used or other special considerations are in place, email is not encrypted over the internet.
Create a Security Awareness Program
With technology breaches becoming more prevalent in today’s technology driven market, it’s important to implement a cybersecurity awareness program within your organization to educate employees and cardholders about security threats they may encounter. The average cost of a data breach can be over $3 million, but with proper knowledge, these types of expenses can be avoided. Give employees and cardholders information about common attacks, such as phishing schemes and email scams, and set them up for success with resources on how to validate if information they are receiving is real or fake, regardless of what channel they receive it from. By helping others to understand the threats they may encounter, you can help your organization to prevent costly and impactful cyber attacks.
Schedule Regular Risk Assessments
Assessing the threats to your organization and in the market will help your organization to better prepare for the latest growths in hacking and digital attacking. It’s important for technology experts and leadership teams to regularly assess the security of the financial institution’s platforms, programs, communications and channels for risks, and to make adjustments that can help to negate future attacks. If you’re not sure where to start or you don’t have the talent in-house to complete this, it is advised that you seek a talented cybersecurity organization to complete a risk assessment and ensure that your financial institution and cardholders are well protected.
Although cybersecurity can be a daunting task for financial institutions of all sizes, it’s crucial to remember that the labor and monetary investments made into your organization’s security will yield higher safety and revenue as cardholders feel more protected and you can spend less on reacting to cyber attacks. Additionally, ensuring that business partners and vendors are equally protected will give you peace of mind in knowing that your financial institution is doing its best to be safe in today’s technological world.
Our loyalty technology experts are here to ease your mind with the latest technology to deliver quality rewards and a safe loyalty experience to your financial institution and cardholders. With advanced security measures and safety protocols, we are ready to help your financial institution to advance cardholder engagement and grow your portfolio revenue.
Want to learn more about how ampliFI can create a safe environment for loyalty? Contact our experts today for a free virtual consultation or learn more about our loyalty solutions at amplifiloyalty.com.