Banks: Manage Device Security Like You Manage Employee Access to Sensitive Data

Employee devices can be a nightmare for financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and wealth management firms. The organizations don’t control customer systems, and these customers are under relentless and increasingly sophisticated attacks by hackers. If the device is compromised and the customer suffers a loss, they blame the institution.

This is a significant concern, particularly for smaller financial institutions, which rely on individual customer relationships to generate most of their revenue. The institution can’t afford to take a loss if a hacker accesses a customer account. Still, they need to maintain goodwill with customers who may or may not consistently use good cybersecurity practices.

Tolerance- Driven Framework for Cybersecurity

Most banking cybersecurity professionals tasked with addressing this concern take the usual road of evaluating points of compromise with antivirus protection or treating Indicators of Compromise (IoC) with an endpoint detection and response (EDR) strategy. But what if there’s a different — and better — way of looking at it? A tolerance-driven framework that takes a zero-trust approach based on policy instead.

This approach is similar to the method financial institutions use to manage employee access to sensitive information. At a financial institution, there are different levels of employee access to crucial data. The administrator typically grants access to data on a need-to-know basis, providing individual employees with the access they need to do their jobs effectively. That access is granted based on policies.

The fact is, you can’t trust apps on user devices any more than you can trust employees, so it makes sense to regulate the access granted to apps in a customer’s device the same way you control employee access. And now, there’s a military-grade solution that you can use to restrict the way apps operate by securing deices by enforcing the integrity of the OS design.

Secure Customer Devices with AppGuard Solo

AppGuard Solo is a zero-trust, self-managed, host-based protection agent that is designed for non-technical users. It doesn’t require a network connection, and it has an ultra-small footprint — less than 2 MGs — so it doesn’t consume resources like leading antivirus, and EDR solutions do. It provides “set it and forget it” protection, coexisting alongside virtually all other security agents.

AppGuard Solo is a unique solution because it prevents breaches by blocking apps from performing inappropriate processes while allowing them to continue performing normal actions, using patented dynamic isolation and inheritance technologies. That’s what makes AppGuard’s approach similar to the zero-trust approach used to safeguard data by granting employees tiered access to information.

At a bank, an employee with Level B access can log in to the network and view and/or manipulate Level B information. But if they used their credentials to try to gain access to Level A data, administrative policies would automatically block the attempt, while continuing to provide Level B access. AppGuard Solo works in a similar way to secure the operating system — and plug holes in the cybersecurity stack.

Financial institutions can now partner with AppGuard to purchase AppGuard Solo licenses to protect customer endpoints, which the institution can either sell to customers or provide free of charge as a service. By working with AppGuard, the financial institution can mitigate risks without assuming liability — and solve the problem of user endpoint issues.

Originally developed to protect military devices in the field, AppGuard is designed to secure devices that are not on the network. So, if you’re in charge of your financial institution’s cybersecurity operations and are ready to get out of the user endpoint security business, take a look at AppGuard Solo. It’s an affordable solution that can complete the customer section of your cybersecurity stack.