Banks and credit unions have been using firewalls as part of their network-perimeter defense to make security decisions efficiently and protect networks from outside attacks for more than three decades. However, over the years, as technology and threats change, firewalls must also evolve.
In today’s security landscape, the biggest threats are often unknown until it is too late. One IT administrator cannot keep track of all malicious threats and activity and thoroughly understand how they will impact a network or system. This process takes too much time, and the volume of threats to manage is too large, as there are numerous new threats created daily. In fact, according to Kaspersky Lab’s Number of the Year for 2017, there were at least 360,000 new malicious files detected every day in 2017. This is an 11.5% increase from the previous year.
Discover, Analyze, and Understand
An updated approach that includes an automated cyber threat intelligence feed to uncover threats and new risks is required for firewalls to be effective in today’s environment. According to the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council’s (FFIEC) Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT), it is important for financial institutions to have processes in place to effectively discover, analyze, and understand cyber threats. With a cyber threat intelligence feed, banks and credit unions can keep track of emerging security threats through information sharing or crowdsourcing security feeds that source information on current and emerging security threats. Consuming this data helps financial institutions improve security processes to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats quickly and efficiently.
When a cyber threat intelligence feed is integrated directly into the firewall platform, it eliminates the need for one or two individuals to correlate and filter the overwhelming volume of alerts from a variety of standalone systems and manually update rulesets. With cyber threat intelligence, financial institutions have thousands of people sourcing threat information. This ensures that malicious threats and activity are caught in a time-efficient manner, and IT personnel are able to better understand the various threats to their network. Implementing bank-specific feeds, such as those provided by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) will provide industry-specific threat information that enables the IT team to analyze relevant threats and the impact they may have on the institution.
How to Develop an Integrated Security Ecosystem
It is imperative that banks and credit unions are keeping their firewall security top of mind and are proactively monitoring the firewall solution to ensure it is able to effectively combat current malicious activity. Ensuring your firewall is up to date and using the latest technology solutions enables your institution to discover and address vulnerabilities before breaches occur and regulators identify weaknesses. With the increase in breaches and malicious activities, a cyber threat intelligence feed is necessary to stay up to date on the latest threats and vulnerabilities and ensure your financial institution is adequately protected.
For more information on key features of next-generation firewalls, download our white paper, Moving Beyond Traditional Firewall Protection to Develop an Integrated Security Ecosystem.