Unveiling Anomalies — Strengthening Bank Security With Behavioral Analytics - Exabeam

Unveiling Anomalies — Strengthening Bank Security With Behavioral Analytics

May 31, 2023


Reading time
6 mins

Financial institutions must remain vigilant in protecting sensitive data and maintaining customer trust. A critical aspect of a robust security strategy is the ability to differentiate normal user, entity, and peer group behavior from abnormal, potentially malicious activities. In the previous post of this banking series, we discussed the importance of regular security updates. In this post, we’ll explore the significance of understanding and analyzing behavior as a method for banks to protect themselves and discuss tools and techniques banks can use to monitor and analyze behavior to help detect and mitigate cyberthreats.

In this article:

The value of behavioral analytics in banking security

Traditional detection methods, relying on static rules and signatures, often fall short in identifying and preventing modern cyberattacks. With adversaries and cybercriminals continuously adapting their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), banks cannot solely rely on known threat signatures to defend their systems.

With user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), banks gain a deeper understanding of normal activity within their systems and detect anomalies signaling potential cyberthreats. Behavioral analytics can help detect various threats, including insider threats, compromised credentials, and lateral movement within the network.

Techniques for analyzing user behavior

Establishing a baseline for normal activity within a bank’s systems is the first step in analyzing behavior. This process involves collecting and analyzing data on user actions, such as login times, file access patterns, and network activity. By understanding normal behavior, banks can more accurately detect deviations indicating potential security risks.

After establishing a baseline for normal behavior, banks can use advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to identify anomalies and unusual patterns in behavior. This could include sudden changes in login times, unusual data access patterns, or unexpected network connections. Identifying these anomalies helps banks detect potential cyberthreats early, allowing them to take action before significant damage occurs.

Not all detected anomalies in user behavior indicate a cyberattack. To avoid overwhelming security teams with benign alerts, banks should prioritize incidents based on factors such as the severity of the deviation from normal behavior, potential impact on systems and data, and the likelihood of malicious activity. Once incidents are prioritized, security teams investigate further to determine the root cause and appropriate action.

Implementing behavioral analytics solutions

Various tools and solutions help banks analyze user behavior and detect anomalies. These tools range from standalone UEBA solutions to integrated platforms combining UEBA with other security functions, such as security information and event management (SIEM). When selecting a behavioral analytics tool, banks should consider factors like ease of integration with existing systems, scalability, and customization and automation capabilities.

Behavior analysis should be an ongoing practice, with banks continuously monitoring activity and adjusting normal behavior baselines as needed. Regularly updating baselines ensures accurate anomaly detection as behavior and system usage patterns evolve. Additionally, banks should continuously evaluate and make adjustments to improve detection accuracy and reduce alert noise.

Behavioral analytics should be integrated into a comprehensive security strategy, including other essential measures like strong access controls, multifactor authentication (MFA), and regular security updates. Combining behavioral analytics with other security measures creates a multi-layered defense against cyberthreats.

Exabeam Security Operations Platform — behavioral analytics in action

The Exabeam Security Operations Platform incorporates UEBA to detect abnormalities in the behavior of users, machines, and peer groups. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to correlate multiple security events with known patterns of malicious behavior, providing security teams with a complete picture of threats.

For each event, the platform determines a risk score for the involved user or device and connects related events into a detailed timeline. This approach helps assess whether the combined events pose a threat to the organization. By correlating the behaviors identified as anomalous, security analysts can trace all the steps an attacker has taken and quickly pinpoint the threat.

Exabeam can identify various types of security events on a bank’s networks, including compromised credentials, malicious insiders, and lateral movement. By leveraging the UEBA capabilities of the Exabeam Security Operations Platform, banks are empowered to detect and mitigate cyberthreats.

Banks have the flexibility to either replace their existing SIEM with Exabeam SIEM or augment their existing SIEM or Data Lake with our analytics offerings – Exabeam Analytics and Exabeam Investigation.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series

Understanding and analyzing the behavior of users, entities, and peer groups is a critical component of a robust cybersecurity strategy for banks and other financial institutions. By implementing behavioral analytics tools and techniques and integrating them into a comprehensive security strategy, banks can strengthen their defenses against cyberattacks and protect their systems and data from unauthorized access. In these uncertain times, staying vigilant and adapting security measures to new threats is essential for maintaining customer trust and ensuring the ongoing success of banks in the digital age.

Stay tuned for the next post in our series on strengthening bank cybersecurity, where we’ll explore the importance of employee training, incident response, and creating a security-conscious culture.

Want to learn more about defending banks against cyberthreats?

Want to learn more about defending banks against cyberthreats?

Read our guide, Five Cybersecurity Essentials for Banks in Uncertain Times.

Banks are facing unprecedented challenges in securing their digital ecosystems while maintaining cost efficiency. With cybercriminals increasingly targeting the financial industry, your bank’s reputation as a trustworthy partner is at stake.

Don’t leave your bank exposed to the growing number of cyberthreats. Download our guide and learn how to bolster your defenses, protect sensitive customer data, and minimize the financial impact of cyberattacks.

You’ll discover:

  • The importance of implementing multifactor authentication to secure customer data and prevent unauthorized access
  • How to proactively identify potential threats using behavioral analytics
  • Why abandoning legacy SIEM technology is essential for a modern and effective cybersecurity approach

With data breach costs averaging nearly $6 million, you can’t afford to leave your bank’s security to chance. Get our essential strategies for protecting your bank against cyberthreats.

Download now!

Five Cybersecurity Essentials for Banks in Uncertain Times

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