Overview Of FDIC Penetration Testing
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, requires its insured banks, state saving institutions, and state branches of foreign banks to develop and implement information security programs. To remain FDIC compliant, these financial institutions must maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of information, systems, and networks.
Financial institutions keep highly valuable sensitive information in paper, electronic and other forms. Regardless of the form the information takes, FDIC Security Standards call for this information to be safeguarded such that:
- Security and confidentiality of customer information is ensured
- Threats and hazards are not only anticipated but also protected against
- Controls are in place to prevent illicit access of information
- Customer and consumer information is properly disposed of.
Financial institutions are a prime target for identity thieves. FDIC security standards seek to enforce greater protections and drive financial institutions to take preventative measures to safeguard customer and consumer information.
The standards don’t stop though at identifying, protecting, and preventing. They also require response protocols so that a bank can demonstrate readiness to address any incidents of unauthorized access.
FDIC Security Compliance
In assessing risk and maintaining compliance, financial institutions are asked to identify foreseeable internal or external threats that could result in unauthorized access or use of consumer information. These risks might see the information disclosed, misused, altered, or destroyed. Any of these would have serious compliance implications as well as causing financial and reputational damages.
Bank penetration testing is a powerful tool in a financial institution’s arsenal to better identify, manage, and control risks. Penetration testing for financial institutions can be done internally, it’s recommended to bring in external experts to approach the institution’s information security program with fresh eyes.
Bank pen testing manually and semi-automatically tests bank physical security, bank network security, access controls, transmission, and storage encryption, monitoring systems, and procedures in place to ensure information security.
Financial Risk Assessment
To comply with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) security standards, financial risk assessments are a thorough and proactive way to establish effective information security practices for a bank or financial services provider.
The FDIC risk assessment should be a wide-reaching one, considering several elements such as:
- Current architecture and its effectiveness in safeguarding mission-critical systems
- Availability of up-to-date inventory listings and system topologies
- Appropriate access controls and security policy settings
- Provisions for physical security
- Employee education efforts
- Consistency of penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities
The risk assessment also must weigh the likelihood of both external and internal vulnerabilities. This would consider threats such as:
- The exploitation of known security flaws or software bugs
- Internal misuse of information systems or inadvertent disclosure of sensitive data
- Failure to upgrade or patch security-related tools
- Poorly selected, lost, or stolen passwords
- Social engineering targeting employees, vendors or contractors to gain unauthorized access
- System attacks such as denial of service, IP spoofing, Trojan horses, viruses and ransomware
- Improper set-up of systems accessible via the Internet or modem
- Poor access control for electronic connections with business partners, vendors.
RedTeam Security’s FDIC penetration testing takes a proactive approach to risk assessment for banks. Our testers approach the financial institution’s information security program from the perspectives of both developer and hacker. Using whatever tools a bad actor might take advantage of to exploit a vulnerability or break-in or breach the institution’s security, RedTeam thoroughly tests to identify potential opportunities for intrusion or system misuse.
Our efforts don’t stop at compiling a list of risks though. RedTeam’s highly skilled experts share insights into prevention, detection, and response measures. With ongoing access to our online remediation knowledge database and to our dedicated specialists, the financial institution can not only achieve but also confidently maintain its FDIC compliance.
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Financial Security Compliance Checklist
Are you complying with the security standards outlined by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council? Download our free checklist to find out.