FDIC Penetration Testing

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FDIC Penetration Testing

Financial penetration testing offers risk assessment insight and gives organizations information security confidence.


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.

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 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.

    A banking penetration test is a powerful tool in a financial institution’s arsenal to better identify, manage, and control risks. Although this testing 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 an institution’s security measures, access controls, physical restrictions, transmission and storage encryption, monitoring systems, and procedures in place to ensure information security.

  • Risk Assessment

    To comply with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) security standards, risk assessments are a thorough and proactive way to establish effective information security practices for a bank or financial services provider.

    The 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:

    • 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 Internet or modem
    • Poor access control for electronic connections with business partners, vendors.


    RedTeam Security’s 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.

  • Penetration Testing

    RedTeam penetration testing explores the many ways hackers might breach the financial institution’s information security program.

    RedTeam’s FDIC compliance testing involves:

    1. Information Gathering
    2. Threat Modeling
    3. Vulnerability Analysis
    4. Exploitation
    5. Post-Exploitation
    6. Reporting

    RedTeam’s trained, qualified testers will seek vulnerabilities running the gamut from personnel (via social engineering) and physical premises to networks and IT assets. Testing human fallibility and physical security as well as networks, system processes, applications (and dependent software) can minimize risk overall.

    The Approach

    RedTeam testing consists of about 80% manual testing and about 20% automated testing – actual results may vary slightly. By being proactive and thorough, the financial institution can better identify and assess vulnerabilities to remain FDIC compliant.

    RedTeam Security’s comprehensive real-world assessment sees testers using commercial tools, internally developed tools, and the same tools that bad actors might employ to access and exploit financial institutions. Testing simulates a true attack to assess the financial institution’s real-life network and IT asset vulnerabilities. This means leveraging all the tools at our disposal, much as attackers would do in looking to steal identities, blackmail individuals, disrupt services, install malware or otherwise misuse illicit access to a financial institutions’ network or system architecture.

    The Results

    RedTeam strives to provide excellent ongoing customer experience and service. This means our work doesn’t end with the filing of our written report. Our experts continue to provide remediation support to the financial institution as it works to address any vulnerabilities found.

    As part of our promise to not only identify areas of FDIC noncompliance, but also provide insights into best practices for prioritizing remediation, RedTeam offers remediation re-testing at no additional cost.

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.

FFIEC checklist



Our Penetration Testing, Social Engineering and Red Teaming services go beyond the checkbox to help prevent data breaches

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