About Elevity

Elevity is one of the largest and most capable technology management providers in the Midwest. Our team of technology experts can help you reach a truly elevated level of IT strategy, security, solutions and support.

A division of



Cedar Falls Open House

Learn more →



2675 Research Park Drive
Madison, WI 53711

A division of


Best Cybersecurity Practices for Financial Institutions

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

Financial institutions are often a top target for hackers as many industry experts have viewed cyberattacks as the contemporary version of “wild west” bank robberies. In fact, CNBC reported that U.S. banks and other financial institutions processed approximately $1.2 billion in ransomware payments in 2021. That’s almost triple the amount paid by the industry in 2020. 

Hackers commonly look for ways to make a destructive impact with a high monetary return, that’s why financial institutions, in particular, need to always be prepared for a potential cyberattack. 

Cybersecurity Best Practices

Cybersecurity is a different landscape than traditional security. As more and more information has migrated to the cloud, financial institutions have adapted and strengthened their defenses to protect their data and the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of their customers. 

Here are eight best practices to keep in mind to reduce the cybersecurity risk at your financial organization.

  • Stay Current with Cybersecurity Regulations
  • Empower Your Employees and Customers
  • Implement a BYOD Policy
  • 24/7 Threat Monitoring
  • Manage Third-Party Risks
  • Assess and Address Vulnerabilities
  • Have an Incident Response Plan
  • Take a Holistic Approach

Stay Current with Cybersecurity Regulations

First and foremost, make certain that your organization is following the cybersecurity regulations designated for your financial sector. 

For U.S.-based financial organizations this may include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

Empower Your Employees and Customers

Breaches due to social engineering, are on the rise. Adding a spam filter to monitor your organization’s email will add a level of security. In addition, educate your employees on common phishing tactics in order to stay one step ahead of email threats. Also, be sure to include cybersecurity safety tips in your eNewsletters to customers and educate them on not giving out their personal information to unverified sources. 

Empowering both your employees and your customers will make them active participants in blocking and reporting potential attacks, thereby strengthening your cybersecurity network.

Implement a BYOD Policy

Remote and hybrid workforces are growing and this includes financial institutions. Many businesses encourage the use of personal mobile devices to access email and other apps on the go. Be sure to also implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy with guidelines on how to access company data.

A Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is also recommended for smartphones and tablets that provides software distribution, policy management, inventory management, security management and service management. An MDM solution will better secure your employees’ mobile devices in the event that a device is lost or stolen.

A virtual desktop solution is also recommended as employees can use their personal computer to securely remote in and work from anywhere. 

24/7 Threat Monitoring

Cyberattacks can happen at any time, in fact the majority have been reported to occur during non-business hours. In the event that a hacker gains access to your network, be prepared with Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions designed to sniff out threats by detecting disruptions in data patterns. Early detection is key to root out a hacker before they have a chance to do major damage to your network.

Manage Third-Party Risks

Vulnerabilities in third-party software can also put your organization at risk. In fact, according to an industry report, vulnerabilities in third-party software was the fourth most frequent source of cybersecurity breaches at an average cost of $4.33 million.

Take precautions to reduce third-party software risks such as verifying the cybersecurity protocols of your vendors, limiting third-party access to your critical assets, mandating notification if a third-party vendor encounters a breach and continuously monitoring your own network for any anomalies in the patterns of your data.

Assess and Address Vulnerabilities

Conducting regularly scheduled risk assessments can reveal potential gaps in your cybersecurity coverage. These risk assessments not only show where your security weaknesses lie, but they are also key to determining which vulnerabilities should be addressed, first. 

Have an Incident Response Plan

Breaches can happen. Be prepared by having an incident response plan in place before a cyberattack hits your organization. This should be a plan with a standardized methodology and reporting procedures known to your entire staff in order to quickly mitigate a breach as fast as possible. 

Take a Holistic Approach

These best practices are a great start to create a cybersecurity plan for your financial institution. However, a complete cybersecurity plan will weave multiple best practices together for a multi-layered, comprehensive approach covering everything from cybersecurity training to incident management. Working from this holistic perspective is your best bet for a robust cybersecurity plan.

What’s Your Cybersecurity Risk Level?

How prepared are you against lurking cyber threats? We’ve created a tool you can use to help pinpoint where you and your employees are in your cybersecurity awareness journey. It’s free and only takes a few minutes to complete. Just click the Cybersecurity Risk Assessment link below, answer a few key questions and check your email for your score.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

You May Also Like

These Stories on Cybersecurity

Subscribe by Email