Cyber Talk Radio: Banking Security with Jefferson Bank

Bret Piatt, CTR Host, and Roman Medina, Chief Information Security Officer at Jefferson Bank - Episode 122 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, January 26, episode 122 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Roman Medina, chief information security officer at Jefferson Bank to discuss the importance of banking security for employees, clients and vendors.

The days of physical robberies and bank security issues are over! Knowing what we now know about the Internet, we can see that there are hackers trying to get into the banking systems, accounts and infrastructure. The Texas Department of Banks regulations require banks to have the position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework and guidelines are also followed by many banks. Roman mentions the infamous Target hack, which came in through their HVAC vendor. This is why it’s important to hold not just banks accountable, but also to hold vendors/partners that we work with accountable in order to keep security as a main priority. As a CISO, what are some of the main concerns that are on Roman’s mind every day? Roman is always making sure employees have the security tools and awareness in place so they can avoid attacks. We mention a previous CTR episode with guests Langley & Banack in which they’d described the story of a real estate transaction gone bad, something that could happen to anyone. Jefferson Bank has seen similar attacks with businesses’ compromised emails. If something looks suspicious or fishy, a good way to check is to have a policy of always picking up the phone to verify or to have a second channel, like text. Roman regularly recommends enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) to lock down your login page. Another common area of trouble in banking is traveling. Roman’s traveling tips including being sure to inform your bank if you are traveling and where you will be going with the exact dates, to keep electronics secured with strong passwords and to not connect to any free Wi-Fi (instead, use tethering on your phone).

In the second segment, I talk with Roman about the Information Security Board, which reports to Jefferson Bank’s Board of Directors. They also run exercises and practice scenarios if they do have a worse case breach or wire fraud occur. I stress the importance of having an effective disaster relief plan that you company has practiced executing. I also commended Roman and Jefferson Bank for holding a Cybersecurity Symposium (during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month) for customers in order to raise awareness and education. Here’s a real example that demonstrates the importance of Roman’s role: One customer called Roman because they had a ransomware incident. Be sure to have an offsite backup set up for your computer. Also, it can prove helpful to have a separate computer that you use for just online banking, and be sure that no one uses it for anything else, like searching the web.

Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about banking security.

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