Four Tips for Banks To Fend Off Mounting Cyberthreats

September 24, 2012 – In The News
Law 360

Despite potential threat warnings from the FBI, the computer networks of Bank of America Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co. recently came under the attack of cyber hackers.

Attorneys warn financial companies — who are prime target not only because of their connection to money, but also because of their access to sensitive personal information — to safeguard their systems to ensure they won’t be held liable.

Scott Vernick says companies can increase their security by making sure networks and firewalls are as strong as possible. He also suggests scanning for vulnerabilities and anomalies on an ongoing basis as well as keeping antivirus software up to date.

Vernick also suggests making sure employees are up to speed on security protection.

“Companies need to be constantly vigilant not only of prevention measures, but also of employee education,” he said. “You can have security measures in place, but if one employee is not mindful of these safeguards, he can unknowingly give up vital credentials or passwords.”

Vernick also commented on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which was blocked by a Republican filibuster in August.

“I've heard and understand critics' complaints that implementing these measures would be costly and an infringement of privacy rights, but what I don't think they understand is that the threat of an attack on the nation's infrastructure is very real,” Vernick said. “It's larger than either sector, so they need to cooperate, and the only way to do that is to incentivize the private sector to share information.”