external link

link pdf

How cyber intelligence and security automation can better protect banks from cyber threats

The following information was provided by Todd Weller, Chief Strategy Officer, Bandura Cyber, a leading provider of cloud-based threat intelligence solutions.


Banks continue to have their hands full battling cyber attacks: ransomware, phishing, malware, and account takeover are just a handful of the threats that bank security teams grapple with every day. Amidst the pandemic, financial institutions experienced a 238% increase in cyber attacks, according to VMware Carbon Black, with 75% of financial institutions experiencing a spike in cyber crime activity, according to BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. With 86% of breaches financially motivated, it’s no surprise that banks remain attractive targets.

As banks continue to scale up cybersecurity efforts, there is a clear need for both cyber intelligence and security automation. Historically, the ability to use cyber intelligence and security automation has required significant resources putting these capabilities outside of reach of all but those banks with significant resources, such as security staff, budget, security tools, etc. HOWEVER, the good news is that with innovation in cybersecurity, solutions have emerged to solve problems like these.

In this article, we will discuss the need for cyber intelligence and security automation, the challenges that banks face when it comes to deploying these capabilities, and how banks of all sizes are overcoming these challenges.

The Need for Cyber Intelligence

With an ever growing volume of cyber threats and a dynamic threat environment, it’s clear that defending against cyber attacks has become a volume game. In defending against threats, there are no silver bullets. There is not one security control or source of cyber intelligence that will provide complete protection. Cyber defense requires the use of massive amounts of cyber intelligence data along with layered security controls.

When we say cyber intelligence, we are not talking about the cyber intelligence being used by your existing security controls. While this cyber intelligence has value, it alone is insufficient because it is typically a single vendor’s view of the threat landscape. When we say cyber intelligence, we are talking about multi-source cyber intelligence—cyber intelligence from a diverse mix of sources including commercial threat intelligence specialists, open source, government, and industry sources like FS-ISAC.

By using multi-source cyber intelligence, banks gain a broader view of the threat landscape significantly improving their visibility into the threat environment and their ability to defend against those threats.

The Need for Security Automation

The other aspect of the volume game when it comes to cyber defense is the need for security automation. Given the high volume of cyber threats and the highly dynamic nature of threats, it’s extremely challenging for humans alone to keep up.

On top of this, all banks are grappling with a shortage of cybersecurity professionals and the ability to retain staff. The combination of these factors means banks need to be able to scale defenses without the need to significantly scale their resources. The answer is greater use of security automation.

The Challenges with Cyber Intelligence and Security Automation

While cyber intelligence and security automation can provide significant value to banks’ cybersecurity efforts, they each share a common challenge: they’ve historically required significant resources. This has tended to put cyber intelligence and security automation outside of the reach of all but those banks with significant resources.


For example, the current model for consuming cyber intelligence is too complex, expensive, and most importantly ineffective. There is a massive amount of cyber intelligence data available and this data can be very expensive. The result is often the need for significant resources just to acquire cyber intelligence. However the need for resources doesn’t stop there. Once a bank has access to cyber intelligence data, it also can take significant resources to aggregate, manage and deploy cyber intelligence data. These resources include a combination of people, time, and tools all of which cost money.

Another significant challenge occurs when banks want to use the data to protect themselves. For example, a major problem is that many existing security controls have significant limitations with respect to their ability to consume and take action using third-party intelligence data. This severely limits the value of cyber intelligence, making it challenging for small and midsize banks to use and deploy cyber intelligence and challenging for larger banks to deploy cyber intelligence at scale.

Security automation can help solve many of the challenges associated with deploying cyber intelligence. It can also help banks to prevent, detect, and respond to threats faster as well enable banks to scale security efforts more efficiently. For example, solutions like Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs) can help banks to automate the aggregation, management, and deployment of cyber intelligence. Additionally, Security Orchestration Automation & Response (SOAR) platforms can also help to automate the deployment of cyber intelligence and to automate threat response. However, guess what? While TIPs and SOARs are great solutions, they also require significant resources to acquire and use. Again, this is often beyond the reach of all but the biggest banks.

How Banks Can Overcome the Challenges of Cyber Intelligence and Security Automation

For banks to more broadly adopt critical capabilities like cyber intelligence and security automation, a new approach is required. An approach thatsolves the aforementioned key. It requires an approach that integrates cyber intelligence, security automation, and scalable enforcement into a single platform. More importantly, this platform has to be simple to deploy, easy to manage, highly automated, and affordable.


About Bandura Cyber

Bandura Cyber is a leading provider of cloud-based threat intelligence solutions that make threat intelligence actionable. Their core mission is solving challenges with cyber intelligence and security automation. Bandura’s Autonomous Cyber Intelligence and Defense platform was purposefully built to help banks overcome these key challenges and to bring the power of cyber intelligence and security automation to banks of all sizes and cyber maturity levels. At a high level, their platform automates the acquisition, deployment and enforcement of cyber intelligence. Specifically for banks, their platform:

  • makes the world’s leading cyber intelligence accessible in real time;
  • simplifies the deployment of cyber intelligence with automation; and 
  • defends bank networks with autonomous enforcement.

Bandura helps banks of all sizes improve their protection from cyber threats. Banks ranging from small community banks to larger regional banks deploy Bandura as a critical layer of their cyber defenses. Importantly, banks find that with Bandura they are able to scale up their cybersecurity efforts without having to add security resources. For more information about Bandura, please visit https://banduracyber.com.

The information above is provided for guidance and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations. ABA Insurance Services Inc. (“ABAIS”) does not warrant that all potential hazards or conditions have been evaluated or can be controlled. The liability of ABAIS and its affiliates is limited to the terms, limits and conditions of the insurance policies issued by ABAIS. The opinions expressed in this Article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Great American Insurance Company and its affiliate companies. © 2021 ABA Insurance Services Inc. 102021.ST5 © 2021 ABA Insurance Services Inc., dba Cabins Insurance Services in CA (CA license #0G63200), ABA Insurance Services of Kentucky Inc. in KY, and ABA Insurance Agency Inc. in MI, 3401 Tuttle Rd., Suite 300, Shaker Heights, OH 44122