How to Discover Vendor Cybersecurity Flaws Before Data Thieves Exploit Them
Cybersecurity ratings have come a long way since they were first introduced.
Today’s cybersecurity ratings are a guide for uncovering and addressing cybersecurity issues that need to be resolved before they are exploited. In a world where financial institutions have a multitude of vendors with access to sensitive information, ratings help identify third-party vendors that are real-time risks, allowing a financial institution to take action to mitigate the threat.
A detailed cybersecurity rating lets you know which of your vendors are most susceptible to a breach before it happens and helps identify vendors that are not aligned with your institution’s cyber risk appetite.
How do you know if a cybersecurity rating is covering all the bases? Make sure it monitors these key areas:
- Open ports. Monitors ports exposed to the public internet to determine if unnecessary access points exist.
- TLS/SSL certificates. Monitors records to verify accuracy of vendor’s servers and relationships to establish cryptographic trust.
- TLS/SSL configuration. Monitors records to ensure that servers have properly configured security protocol libraries and support strong encryption standards.
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF). Monitors DNS records to identify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of a domain to prevent hackers from forging email.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM). Monitors protocols to prevent unauthorized servers from sending email on behalf of a company’s domain.
- Network security. Monitoring for database vulnerabilities, lack of proper network security measures.
- DNS health. Monitoring for multiple DNS configuration settings to determine inappropriate vs. recommended configurations.
- Patching cadence. Monitoring frequency of patching operating systems, services, applications, software, and hardware in a timely manner.
- Endpoint security. Monitoring for protection of a vendor’s laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and all employee devices that access the vendor’s network.
- IP reputation. Monitoring millions of malware signals from all over the world to detect infected IP addresses attributed to vendors to determine a level of risk and the quantity and duration of the infections.
- Web application security. Monitoring for cross-site scripting attacks and SQL injection attacks.
- Mobile application security. Monitors mobile applications in Android and iOS devices connected to the vendor’s network with known security risks that could compromise the vendor’s network.
- Hacker chatter. Monitors hacker communications from multiple streams to determine if a vendor is discussed and/or targeted.
- Leaked credentials. Monitors all sensitive information that is exposed as part of a data breach or leak, keylogger dumps, paste bin dumps, database dumps, and other information repositories, which are associated with vendor email addresses or other vendor dates to access likelihood of a data breach.
- Social engineering. Monitors factors related to social engineering, which include vendor employees using network devices for social networks, personal finances, marketing lists, etc. that can be exploited.
Don’t wait for a vendor to reveal an issue. Make sure you are being as proactive as possible in identifying and mitigating potential vendor data breaches. As a financial institution, you can’t afford to take risks with your reputation.