Why Visibility is Critical to Cyber Security in the Financial Sector

Why Visibility is Critical to Cyber Security in the Financial Sector

Why Visibility is Critical to Cyber Security in the Financial Sector


Cyber Security in the Financial Sector Needs Asset Visibility

Financial institutions are faced with a multitude of challenges that they must come to grips with in the current sphere of cyber security. Once, security for financial institutions simply entailed a secure location and posting some security guards around the premises. However, times have changed, and so have the standards of what security means; the phenomenon of cybersecurity has become extremely relevant to financial institutions. As a highly regulated industry that manages significant amounts of money on a daily basis, cyber security in financial institutions should focus on two key concepts: policy enforcement and visibility. 

Policy enforcement is fundamental to regulatory compliance as it enables the control of assets and their access to the network. However, for policy enforcement to be effective, there needs to be visibility. Financial institutions must have the capabilities to see every device connected, or attempting to connect, to their network to ensure the appropriate security controls are enforced and that, in turn, they remain compliant with regulations.

Regulatory Compliance Should Start with Physical Layer Visibility

When it comes to cyber security in financial institutions, compliance and the maintenance of strict security controls to protect sensitive data is the number one goal. Asset management is fundamental to such efforts. However, due to the vastness of these companies, the number of assets they must manage is gigantic, and an asset inventory is crucial. Yet, generating and maintaining a proper asset inventory can be a significant challenge for many international financial entities. A lack of complete asset visibility results in missing device information.

Further, the rise of teleworking, as a result of the pandemic, has opened the door to BYODs, leaving the enterprise with a large number of unmanaged assets in its environment. Whether managed or unmanaged, enterprises need complete visibility of all network-connected assets to ensure the correct security controls get enforced based on the device’s identity. Further, with complete asset visibility, financial enterprises can not only determine a device’s identity but detect any missed risks and vulnerabilities. The plethora of hardware-based supply chain risks that exists means verifying a device’s integrity is paramount.

Existing security solutions fail to provide Physical Layer (Layer 1) visibility, resulting in blind spots in the asset inventory on the hardware level. Lacking this vital level of visibility creates spillover effects that complicate regulatory compliance – mainly, weak policy enforcement. Without complete asset visibility, access controls get arbitrarily applied. In turn, unauthorized assets may get granted access due to a case of “mistaken identity” or undetected vulnerabilities. In an industry as heavily regulated as finance, any breach of policy – whether there is actually any harm to the enterprise or its data – can have serious ramifications, not to mention the reputational damage that comes with a widely publicized incident.

To enhance regulatory compliance efforts (and avoid the consequences of a breach), cyber security in financial institutions must start with visibility at the Physical Layer. This will allow the enterprise to see what is happening at the hardware level, providing complete asset visibility that subsequently supports dynamic policy enforcement in accordance with the relevant regulations. There is no magic bullet for all the challenges associated with cyber security in financial institutions. However, Sepio’s solution provides the groundwork for establishing complete asset visibility using Layer 1 data and enhancing policy enforcement through hardware access control rules, ultimately acting as a pillar for regulatory compliance.

Get Complete Asset Visibility with Sepio’s Solution

Financial institutions should open a hardware savings account with Sepio. Our solution provides a panacea to the gap in visibility by covering Layer 1 (the Physical Layer), offering complete asset visibility. By going deeper than any other solution, Sepio’s Layer 1 visibility means no device goes unmanaged. The solution identifies, detects, and handles all IT/OT/IoT devices. The solution’s policy enforcement mechanism enables a Zero Trust Hardware Access approach in which assets’ digital fingerprints, determined by Layer 1 data, are compared against pre-defined hardware access control rules. The solution continuously monitors devices to ensure compliance is maintained in real-time.

Sepio’s solution requires no hardware resources and does not monitor any traffic Within 24 hours, we can provide you with complete asset visibility and identify previously undetected hardware vulnerabilities and risks – without infringing on your privacy. No baseline is required, meaning Sepio will detect every hardware asset, even those that were there prior to installation. Sepio integrates seamlessly with third-party solutions to enhance existing cyber security efforts and maximize previous cyber security investments. 

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