Criminals have always targeted banks, but the latest generation of cybercriminals are fueled by a bullish dark web market, seven-figure ransoms, and state-sponsored adversaries who provide assets, technology, and expertise that amplify your cyber risk. Given this pervasive threat, banks must shift to a proactive approach that involves hunting for threats and suspicious activity before criminals reach their endgame.

Threat hunting involves proactively searching through endpoints, networks, and datasets, looking for signs of suspicious activity, and the prevailing tactics, technologies, and procedures (TTPs) used by sophisticated adversaries. Once discovered,  Security Operations Center (SOC) hunters must isolate malicious threats that evaded security controls. Community banks must add threat hunting to their arsenal to protect customers and businesses.

Top Three Benefits of Threat Hunting for Banks

1. Protect your business and customers

Threat hunting is an essential element to protecting your bank from cyber threats and exposing potential compromises of your network and assets. It goes beyond simply delivering automating alerts that need customer-side confirmation to Indicators of Compromise (IoC). Successful hunting and threat identification fuels new automatic detections and remediation recommendations and strengthens your security posture.

Banks can benefit from threat hunting through the discovery of attacker targeting and presence, which has already made it past an organization’s first-line defenses. Detecting new and previously unseen attacks requires expertise and knowledge of attacker capabilities and motives.

2. Embrace digital opportunities to attract new customers

As community banks move to cloud-based services, the threat surface of the bank expands. Cloud-based services streamline operations and shift some security burdens to the cloud provider. With terabytes of data in the cloud, you still have a responsibility to validate the security posture of the vendors,  identify vulnerabilities, and establish contractual security requirements.

Proper threat hunting and SOC operations provide the air cover that allows you to adopt emerging technology and new services to grow your business. Successful SOC operations cover the core network and ingest telemetry and intelligence from cloud services as well. It’s an integrated approach that facilitates growth rather than stifling innovation.

3. Save Time and Money

Threat hunting is essential and nonnegotiable as criminals level up their ability to infiltrate and exploit banks. Unfortunately, banks are a high-value target for cybercriminals. Mitigating the risk of an expensive threat can only be done by staying a few steps ahead of cybercriminals. Threat hunting takes a proactive approach, which can save your bank time and money in the long run.

Start Hunting: Become Proactive

Threat hunting is gaining momentum and will only grow in the upcoming years. It is vital to seek threat hunters that use dynamic methods to uncover security incidents that would otherwise go unfound. Effective hunting requires 24/7 surveillance, which can be challenging when the budget is low, or the right talent is not sourced. One budget-friendly solution can be to outsource the tools and expertise needed. The truth is that ‘when, not if’ there will be a cyberattack, your community bank should make the cybersecurity investment to protect your IT landscape before bad actors strike.

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