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Homeland Security Guidance: Be Vigilant

Just hours ago, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled its Strategy to Guide Cybersecurity Efforts. "The cyber threat landscape is shifting in real time and we have reached a historic turning point," said DHS Secretary Nielsen. Mentioned in the strategy guide, it was noted that, "Digital security is now converging with personal and physical security, and it is clear our cyber adversaries can now threaten the very fabric of our republic itself."

The DHS has unveiled its strategy to guide cybersecurity efforts with a critical goal to prevent and disrupt the criminal use of cyberspace.  I have always agreed that our financial institutions in particular must move with great vigilance to protect themselves, using as many new and thoughtful approaches as possible. Here are some areas where I stand with DHS:

  • I agree with the Department of Homeland Security that the threats to the use of digital cyberspace has moved to real time, and I have been noting that for some time now. Mitigation and disruption efforts must occur in real time in all types of business and that includes our banks and financial institutions.
  • I believe that financial institutions and businesses are now blending their security and fraud operations in real time to address the threats, and I also agree with them that more awareness and coordination between these groups is needed if we are to succeed against thwarting cybercriminals.
  • I feel that it is mission critical for each financial institution to build out the kind of security, fraud prevention and detection goals and operating principles as the DHS has laid out. Most importantly, financial institutions particularly must ensure these goals are part of any fabric of a comprehensive digital strategy.  

I have spoken to many clients about the speed of fraud, the increased risks we face, and how to address them. The depth of cyber occurrences has become so serious that the Department of Homeland Security sees it as a national threat to our overall security and to our infrastructure. It isn't just money loss, it is potentially much worse when it impacts our economic well-being.  My suggestion is that if your organization has not revisited your cyber security attack plan recently, that you take the DHS guidance up as priority reading and think about reconvening with your cyber and fraud teams at your  earliest possible time to discuss your long-term plan for addressing cyber threats. 

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