5 steps toward increasing your firewall security

first_imgOctober is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which means it’s a fitting time for financial institutions to examine their cybersecurity efforts and protocols, and make any necessary adjustments. However, with such high-profile cybercrimes as WannaCry, Petya and the Equifax breach dominating headlines this year, financial institutions hardly need a reminder of the threats that cyberattacks pose. The frightening diversity and sophistication of these immense attacks, as well as the unfortunate promise of future strikes, have left pressing questions on how best to quell them—many of which remain largely unanswered. But where do financial institutions even begin? The nature of cybercrime is complex, and the relentlessness of ransomware, the diligence of DDoS and the frequency of fraud are enough to leave even the most seasoned cybersecurity professionals cross-eyed. Although these cyber adversaries are indeed daunting, there’s no need to be overwhelmed. The best place to start is with a fundamental element of any institution’s cybersecurity efforts—a strong firewall.What is a Firewall?A firewall is one of the most basic, yet essential, cybersecurity tools available to financial institutions. Firewalls act as a gatekeeper for your network, protecting it from the outside global network by inspecting all inbound or outbound traffic and determining if it meets the criteria to pass through. Without a firewall, any hacker could easily breach your network and cause havoc. Likewise, a misconfigured or out-of-date firewall provides little protection.Regulations Surrounding FirewallsIn 2011, the FFIEC issued its Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, or CAT, which details financial institutions’ regulatory requirements for maintaining firewalls. In understanding the tremendous risk that follows poor firewall architecture, the FFIEC also mandated that financial institutions be subject to quarterly audits of their firewall security protocols. These regulatory requirements, coupled with the threat of looming cybercrime, have forced the hands of many credit unions across the country. Now, more than ever, financial institutions must look at their firewall security efforts and ensure they are not only compliant, but also risk averse. 5 Steps to Strong Firewall Security Firewall security starts with these five steps, which ensure your institution’s firewall remains strong and secure: Get in the Head of a Cybercriminal. Ask yourself the question: is our firewall hackable? Answer that question by actively attempting to bypass your firewall, or incorporate the services of a firewall security vendor to weed out any vulnerabilities. Once you’ve identified these vulnerabilities, or “holes,” patch them to ensure cybercriminals don’t have access. Verify Rule Efficiency. Firewalls operate on a set of rules that allow certain traffic in and out of your network. Be sure to update this ruleset regularly, accounting for new threats, and that all current rules are still efficient and relevant. Often, breaches result from old configuration that’s no longer applicable or relevant at the time of the breach.Monitor Security Proactively. Deploying a firewall and ensuring it remains current with regular vulnerability checkups and firewall reviews is important. Take it a step further by proactively monitoring firewall events. This gives you a fighting chance toward knowing when attacks are happening and if a breach occurred, so that proper steps can be taken.Examine Password Credentials. Passwords are an essential element for keeping your institution’s data secure. Ensure that all employees with rights to sensitive data have complex passwords that have the appropriate length and strength. Keep Your Firewall Updated. Remember, the FFIEC requires quarterly audits to review your institution’s firewall security. However, just sticking to the bare minimum of these requirements exponentially increases both your risk and vulnerability—putting your institution at the mercy of cybercriminals eager to steal passwords, customer data and even funds. It is imperative that you keep your institution’s firewall security top of mind. Ensure that your institution has adequate firewall security and meets regulatory guidelines with a firewall review and audit. Doing so allows you to discover and address any vulnerabilities ahead of regulators—and more importantly—cybercriminals. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shawn Eftink Shawn Eftink is a product manager for CSI’s Managed Services Division. He has more than 20 years of industry experience and holds professional certifications including ITIL, CSM, CCDA and CCNA.  Web: www.csiweb.com Detailslast_img read more

China to impose visa restrictions on US individuals over Hong Kong

first_imgBeijing said on Monday it will impose visa restrictions on US individuals with “egregious conduct” on Hong Kong-related issues, mirroring US sanctions against unnamed Chinese officials deemed responsible for curbing freedoms in the city.The announcement comes as the top decision-making body of China’s parliament deliberates a draft national security law for Hong Kong that pro-democracy activists in the city fear will be used to eliminate dissent and tighten Beijing’s control.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who announced the new sanctions during a press briefing in response to a question about Washington’s new visa restrictions, did not specify which US individuals have been targeted. Topics : “The US is attempting to obstruct China’s legislation for safeguarding national security in the HK SAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) by imposing the so-called sanctions, but it will never succeed,” he told reporters.”In response … China has decided to impose visa restrictions on US individuals with egregious conduct on HK related issues.”US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the new visa restrictions by Washington apply to “current and former” officials of China’s ruling Communist Party “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”The US Senate also approved a bill last week that would impose mandatory sanctions on people or companies that back efforts to restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy. It includes secondary sanctions on banks that do business with anyone backing any crackdown on the territory’s autonomy.Zhao, the foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters that China has lodged a complaint with the US over the bill and warned that Beijing will respond with strong countermeasures in response to US actions on Hong Kong. last_img read more

Feel the tranquillity in this Gold Coast property

first_imgWhat a pool! From the front. 55 Simpsons Rd, Elanora has hit the market.WELCOME to your own private oasis.Vendors Clint and Danielle Barends bought their slice of paradise in Elanora in 2010.“We moved from a small block in Palm Beach wanting space, privacy and quietness,” Mrs Barends said. The indoors flows outside to the deck and pool.“It’s like living in the bush as we look down to a nature reserve. It’s a big strip where we get all sorts of animals including koalas and wallabies.”Since owning it, the pair have completely modernised the house.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“The house was only seven years old but it had terracotta and blue tiles everywhere,” the mother-of-three said.“It wasn’t rundown as such, it was a just brick house that we basically modernised.”These changes included partially renovating the bathrooms and kitchen and installing new carpet in the bedrooms. There’s plenty for the kids to do.Mrs Barends said the property was a great family home or entertainer’s haven.“Once you come down the driveway it is a really flat, single-storey residence,” she said.“We’ve retained the backyard, landscaped it and put plants in so it’s a very low-maintenance property. “You can really just live here and enjoy it.”Billy Jaz and Jason Monk, McGrath — Palm Beach are taking the property to auction on April 21. Relax in the lounge.Outside, the pair installed a spectacular pool and covered the entertaining area.“The outdoors is really brought inside in the way the kitchen, lounge and deck area all flow,” she said. “It’s a lovely easy layout to live in.”The pair also rendered the outside of the house and restored the roof and driveway.” The kitchen has been modernised.last_img read more