A Cybersecurity Risk Checklist for Financial Institutions

Small and midsize financial institutions such as regional banks and credit unions operate under a microscope of regulatory scrutiny. Deviating from federal and state rules and guidelines can ultimately result in lengthy periods placating regulators as well an escalating risk of penalties and liabilities. In addition to compliance, financial institutions need to be concerned with fraud, cyberattacks and reputational harm.

Addressing Cybersecurity-Specific Rules

Navigating the many cybersecurity-specific requirements is one of the biggest challenges in complying with financial regulations and guidelines. These include:

  • Identifying internal and external vulnerabilities
  • 24/7 security monitoring
  • Log aggregation and management
  • Tracking user access and login attempts
  • Developing a thorough incident response plan

Small and midsize financial institutions face some significant hurdles in meeting compliance obligations. The pressure is further compounded since financial institutions are among the most heavily targeted organizations by cybercriminals. For financial institutions like regional banks and credit unions, building an in-house security operations center for comprehensive cybersecurity often isn’t realistic as the cost of recruiting and retaining in-house security talent can be prohibitive with security experts in high demand amid a growing skills shortage. But investing in more point solutions is not the answer. Even the best firewalls and intrusion detection systems are not designed to holistically manage cyber risk or provide a flexible framework for real-time, incident response. What financial institutions need are security systems, processes and personnel on par with large enterprises, but how can they attain that? Arctic Wolf’s security operations center (SOC)-as-a-service helps financial institutions manage cyber risk while, at the same time, also meeting compliance requirements. It starts with an expert team of security analysts and incident responders who continuously monitor your network for potential cyberthreats and respond to incidents as they arise. The service includes centralized logging of all network events, vulnerability assessments to identify risks, and a detailed framework for managing compliance in accordance with security regulations and guidelines. The following checklist identifies key facets of comprehensive cybersecurity that Arctic Wolf addresses for financial institutions.

Cybersecurity Requirement
Arctic Wolf SOC-as-a-Service



Compliance management and reporting: Assess a financial institution’s security to identify and report on instances of non-compliance with federal, state and local regulations and guidelines

Workflow integration: Seamless integration with existing IT workflows ensures that financial firms’ personnel are notified of non-compliance issues and security escalations in a timely manner

Risk Assessment:


Vulnerability scanning: Regularly scheduled vulnerability assessments provide actionable recommendations to strengthen overall security posture and address potential sources of cyber risk as they arise

Monitoring, Detection and Response:


Log data collection and correlation: Log data aggregation centralizes up to billions of daily events generated through security solutions, network devices, endpoints and applications into a single console for real-time threat monitoring

Continuous network monitoring: Dedicated security analysts analyze log data 24/7 using advanced processes such as machine intelligence to filter through thousands of network alerts into a few incidents that warrant manual investigation

Cloud and on-premises monitoring: Continuous network monitoring applies to the entirety of a financial firm’s IT ecosystem, including all on-premises resources as well as all cloud-based services that comprise a hybrid IT environment

Incident Response:


A named security team: A dedicated team of named security experts that work directly with the financial firms they serve, giving them a complete picture of each organization’s unique operational circumstances

Incident response processes: Incident responders act the moment a threat is detected to quarantine, contain and remediate the incident

Protect Your Financial Institution with Arctic Wolf’s Subscription Service

Arctic Wolf Networks provides financial institutions, including regional banks and credit unions, with the services they need to operate in compliance and stay safe from cyberthreats and accidental data breaches. The company offers predictable pricing through a subscription service based on the number of users, servers and locations—not the number of events or log volumes. With around-the-clock access to a Concierge Security™ team (CST), continuous threat detection and response, regular vulnerability scans, and cybersecurity-specific compliance management, Arctic Wolf helps ensure that the sensitive data of financial institutions remains secure.

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