Why Is Endpoint Security Important For Community Banks?

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The unusual challenges faced by individuals, companies, and even entire industries have been astronomical this year. And it's not just economic volatility and public health crises that are giving people such a hard time. The threat of cybersecurity breaches, while always present, are becoming more widespread and sophisticated than ever. Even the World Health Organization itself has reported a fivefold increase in cyber attacks since the coronavirus pandemic began in December 2019.

What does this mean for your banking institution? For one, it means that now more than ever is the right time to be vigilant and ensure your security efforts are up-to-date.

A specific area of cybersecurity that warrants enhanced focus right now is endpoint protection, or endpoint security. Read on to learn what it is and what the consequences can be if your financial firm's endpoints aren't adequately protected. 

 

LEARN MORE: Cybersecurity Mitigation & Response For Community Banks

 

What is Endpoint Security?

An endpoint is any sort of device that a client or customer can use to remotely connect to computer networks within your banking institution. Here are some common endpoints your employees and clients are likely to utilize to engage with your banking institution: 

  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Smart watches
  • Desktops

 

LEARN MORE: Managed security for financial institutions

 

It's not hard to imagine how often your clients and employees are accessing sensitive financial information and utilizing your online banking services via personal devices (or even work-issued devices brought off-campus). Indeed, mobile access seems to be one of the most valued features by banking customers these days. (According to a 2019 survey by Business Insider, nearly 90 percent of people use mobile banking regularly.)

Endpoint security involves the processes, protocols, and infrastructure necessary to protect your clients as they use these devices and take advantage of the digital features your bank has to offer. 



Why is Endpoint Security Important for your Community Bank? 

While endpoints such as wireless devices offer a great deal of flexibility and convenience to your employees and clients, they can be a major source of vulnerability. The risk of cybercriminals hacking into your system via these devices can be significant, especially if proper measures aren't taken to protect these user-facing modalities.

Here are few reasons why endpoint security is so essential for your banking institution in our current environment: 

  • Endpoints can be compromised by human error. Even a well-protected endpoint device may succumb to a cyber attack if the person using it underutilizes appropriate security measures. That's one reason why communicating to your employees and educating your clients about cybersecurity is so essential. 
  • Endpoints are rarely limited solely to one network. Even if you have policies about how and what your employees can use their work devices for, you may not always be able to rely on 100% compliance. The possibility of someone accessing an unauthorized site on any of your endpoint devices—whether intentionally or otherwise—is always there, which may open the door wide open to a catastrophic breach. 
  • Thanks to social distancing, people are working remotely more than ever. Unfortunately, it's hard to control internet access and security from a client or employee when they're offsite from your network. This makes endpoint devices all the more vulnerable to scammers and hackers.

These and other factors are all potential ways that hackers can access private and sensitive data to use for criminal means. And unless you prepare for and mitigate these risks to the security of your endpoint devices, your banking institution runs the risk of serious harm to clients, employees, and stakeholders. 

 

How Confident Do You Feel About Your Financial Firm's Endpoint Security?

You've worked hard to create a great bank that your clients and employees can trust—don't let a cybersecurity breach threaten that. Call our team at Integrity Technology Solutions at 309.662.7723 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced IT specialists if you'd like to find out how you can optimize endpoint security at your institution. 

Managed security services provider for financial organizations