Main pillars of a cybersecurity policy

The rising tide of cybercrime is a particular concern for treasury management professionals, as the array of information that they hold about their organisation’s financial assets, holdings, investments and risks is a highly attractive target for cybercriminals, or rival firms conducting corporate espionage.

As such, it can’t just be seen as an IT issue; treasury needs to work closely with cybersecurity teams to identify where the firm’s most valuable data is, where the weaknesses in its systems are and how they could be exploited.

A major factor in the growth of data breaches is that cybercriminals are adopting increasingly sophisticated methods to attack their victims. For example, we’re seeing a rising number of cases reported where extremely well-crafted phishing emails purporting to be from company bosses have been used to trick finance departments into making payments into cybercriminals’ accounts. Examples include US tech company Ubiquiti Networks, which lost US$30m after being targeted with such a scam.

This illustrates the need for greater education of the evolving nature of cybersecurity threats amongst non-IT specialist employees, who are more likely to be caught out by these tricks.

Beyond the basics

Good practice doesn’t end here however. Treasury management professionals must remain vigilant and always work on the assumption that their systems have been breached in order to minimise their exposure to the risk of cybercrime.

Carbon Black’s own recent research revealing that (26%) of UK chief information officers (CIOs) believe they can spot a breach within two weeks; yet despite this a report by FireEye found that, while the figure is being steadily reduced, it still takes organisations an average of 205 days to detect an incidence. This shows how important it is to actively hunt out threats by maintaining always-on, continuous monitoring on every endpoint device where data resides.

It’s an approach that also allows security teams to track the ‘kill chain’; following the trail of breadcrumbs that cybercriminals leave behind during a breach, to identify everything they did and which data they accessed. This is particularly vital for treasury professionals – helping them to quickly identify the full extent of the business risk created in the event of a successful breach.

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