Cybersecurity Threats: Your Local Bank is Dedicated to Educating and Keeping Data Safe

In today's digital age, many — if not most — people’s financial lives have moved online. And, while it is convenient to be able to access and manage funds anyplace you have an internet connection, doing so isn’t without its risks. Remember, as technology evolves, so do cybercriminals’ tactics. And missteps could place your important data at risk of cybersecurity threats.

The good news is, bad actors aren’t the only ones doing their homework. Your local bank works diligently to stay on top of emerging cybersecurity trends, put safeguards in place to protect your products, finances and data — and provide actionable information you can use to operate more safely online. Here, we’ll talk through how your Central Bank team aids in all of the above, and provide resources you can use to ensure safer online practices. 

The Cybersecurity Threats Impacting Today’s Businesses
As we’ve mentioned, cyberattacks are constantly changing as the technologies that fuel them advance. Although not a definitive list, the following cyberthreats rank among the more common approaches cybercriminals use to target businesses and individuals alike.

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC): BEC attacks involve cybercriminals impersonating a trusted source to deceive employees into making fraudulent payments or purchases, or sharing sensitive information.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Encourage team members to question unexpected email requests for payments or confidential data, and to verify email sender identities by reaching out through a phone number they know to be accurate.

  • Phishing and Spear-Phishing: Phishing emails trick recipients into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware. Spear-phishing is a more personalized approach, targeting specific individuals within an organization.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Train employees to recognize phishing attempts, emphasizing the importance of not clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown attachments.

  • Ransomware Targeting Businesses: Ransomware attacks involve cybercriminals encrypting an individual or company’s critical data, then demanding a ransom for its release. This can cripple business operations.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Regularly backing up your data, and educating employees about phishing emails (which are often where attacks begin), can help ward off trouble. We also recommend ensuring IT security systems are in place and up to date.

  • Supply Chain Attacks: Through this approach, attackers target your business through vulnerabilities in suppliers' or partners' networks, infiltrating your systems through trusted connections.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Conduct thorough cybersecurity assessments of your supply chain partners. Monitor network activities for unusual patterns and implement strong access controls.

  • Credential Theft: Credential theft involves cybercriminals using techniques such as phishing or BEC to steal login credentials and gain access to business accounts and sensitive data.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Educate employees about the importance of using strong passwords, and what to do if notified of suspicious login attempts.

  • Payment Fraud: Payment fraud includes unauthorized transactions, often resulting from compromised payment details or insider threats. Fraudsters can siphon funds from business accounts.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Regularly reconcile your financial records with bank statements. Monitor accounts for suspicious or unusual transactions and immediately report any discrepancies.

  • Social Engineering Attacks: Social engineering attacks manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information or making financial transactions without realizing the deception.
    Central Bank Safety Tip: Educate employees about social engineering tactics and encourage them to the identity of anyone making financial or information requests.

Interested in learning more about cyberthreats you, and your team members, should be on the lookout for? Our online scams blog post offers additional insights, including tips to help you avoid falling victim — and what to do if you believe you’ve been targeted.

 

What Steps is Your Local Bank Taking to Keep Information Protected?
Cybersecurity risks can seem like a no-win situation, but they’re more manageable with a trusted team by your side. Here are some key ways Central Bank helps.

  • State-of-the-Art Systems: Banks are regular targets of fraudsters looking to gain access to what isn’t theirs. We implement the latest security measures to safeguard your data and funds — and perform regular audits to ensure all necessary updates or patches are installed.

  • Careful Monitoring by a Trained Team: Your local bank has checks and balances in place to detect security issues — and stop them in their tracks. Our team regularly undergoes training to understand the latest cybersecurity threats and how to manage them. In the rare event that an issue does arise, we take strategic steps to determine what happened, how it happened and how to keep it from happening again.

  • Online Resources Aimed at Educating: We believe in arming our customers with information to help them operate more safely in the online world. Our Resources and Guides webpage pulls helpful information together into one convenient spot. One resource in particular, a video presentation by Vice President of Information Security Teri Petrzelka, offers tips for standing prepared against online threats. Of course, our blog is another great place to access information about cybersecurity threats.

  • Updates in the Here and Now: When we become aware of issues that could impact our customers, such as fraudsters’ attempts to manipulate Caller ID listings, we’ll often post information at the top of our homepage. Our social media pages also serve as a great resource, as we regularly share information from the Better Business Bureau, FBI and other agencies getting word out about scam trends.

  • Internal Team Member Audits: Your local bank works hard to employ the best, most trustworthy people around — and we do a good job of it! But you don’t have to take our word for it. As a member of the Federal Reserve, it’s required that each of our employees takes a two-week vacation each year. During this time, they’re locked out of all accounts (including their email) so we can evaluate their practices and make sure they’re operating in the best interests of our customers and company.    

We hope the above provides some clarity regarding cyber risks today’s banking customers should be on the lookout for — and provides peace of mind knowing Central Bank is doing our part to keep your information safe. If you have questions about any of the above, please feel free to contact your Central Bank branch at any time. We’re always glad to help! You can also access great information online through the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Play it safe out there!