As Flex Work Increases, So Does IT Security

Bank’s IT departments have been busier than ever in 2020 as the coronavirus lockdown forced banks to very quickly transition a majority of staff to work from home. Successfully implementing the BBOK business continuity plan, BBOK’s IT team completed a secure transition to a remote laptop and desktop environment for its employees.

“Having a VPN already tested, secure and in use was key to our ability to move quickly,” says Scott Fowler, IT Manager. “We were able to expand our licenses, acquire equipment and reconfigure our work environment with very little disruption to our customers.”

Initially, IT efforts were spent ensuring BBOK employees could share information in a timely manner in a way that did not compromise data confidentiality. Once equipment shuffling was complete, the department of four shifted its focus to ongoing training and security measures.

Implementing processes for people who have never connected remotely before required employee education on heightened threats, proper use of bank-issued hardware and multi-factor authentication.

Educating employees on good cyber practices has always been a priority for the BBOK IT team, but even more now with so many working remotely, says Fowler. “Employees are the first line of defense and we essentially need everyone in the bank to be trained phishing experts. We use the KnowBe4 security awareness application to help in these efforts.”

The pandemic has provided a lot of stress and fraudsters continue to find ways to exploit it. Examiners and auditors have made it clear that they expect financial institutions to be vigilant with cybersecurity as more people have off-site access to potentially sensitive networks, applications and data. As BBOK continues to prioritize our IT processes to protect the bank and our customer’s data, we encourage each of our bank partners to do the same and stay safe.