The Top Three Biggest Security Threats To Financial Institutions

March 22nd, 2019



Financial institutions will always be a top target for criminal activity. Anywhere there are large sums of money will attract a variety of criminals. So for the most part, financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and savings and loans facilities have very comprehensive security. However, these threats evolve over time and require constant upgrades to combat criminals using new technologies and techniques. To understand how to address these threats, here are the top three biggest security threats facings financial institutions in Houston.

Threat #1: Theft, Robberies, And Burglaries

Theft and larceny will always be a massive threat to financial institutions in Houston. Thieves see banks as the big payout and will target them no matter what. The problem is that theft doesn’t just simply involve your assets, but the assets of all your customers. Thefts don’t just create a massive problem in terms of recovering lost assets but rebuilding customer trust. Furthermore, bank thefts also put your staff and patrons in danger. Most criminals will commit armed robbery. So you also have to consider physical safety as well.

The Solution:

Ultimately, when developing security protocols for a financial institution the biggest key is to design the system not “if” there is a theft, but “when” there is a theft. You should start with a full range of security features including access entry security, video surveillance with active monitoring, and on site security personnel. However, what is often missed is the necessity of training your staff in security protocols. That includes everyone from the security officer to tellers and loan officers to branch management. You also need to constantly test and evaluate your system for any vulnerabilities.

Threat #2: Internal Threats

Employees that work with large sums of money can become tempted to commit a theft. This becomes especially relevant if they become disgruntled or face a stressful life situation. These internal threats don’t just include the theft of money, but can also include the release of vulnerable security data. In addition, criminals will often approach bank employees with bribes in order to allow access to these systems.

The Solution:

The solution to mitigating internal threats starts with the hiring process. You want to make sure that you do thorough background checks on any potential employee before hiring them. You also need to highly control access to any vulnerable areas and information, so that only the most trusted employees have access. On top of that, adding preventative, detective, and responsive layers to any IT security system is critical to protecting information.

Threat #3: Lack Of Third Party Vendor Security

Regulations require financial institutions in Houston to house sensitive information with third party vendors. Third party vendors are not part of the organization and have their own priorities. Therefore, your data may not receive the security attention it deserves. Furthermore, data centers are just as vulnerable as banks to outside threats.

The Solution:

As the third party data center is not your business it can be hard to create security protocols and regulations. There are two key ways to ensure your data is safe. First is to make sure that you not only work with a reputable vendor, but that you understand every layer of their security and actively receive updates concerning any changes. Secondly, you can have them automate as many of the security processes as possible to keep the data safe not only from user error, but out of the hands of individuals who may be tempted to breach security.

Addressing these three security concerns will not only keep your money, employees, and data safe, they will protect your reputation and support the growth of your business.

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