Although a hacktivist group says it has suspended distributed-denial-of-service attacks on U.S. banking institutions, banking and security leaders aren't convinced. "Banks should certainly remain on guard," says Gartner's Avivah Litan.
Using technology to prevent breaches is insufficient. Security leaders also must address the human factor, making sure staff members receive appropriate training on clear-cut policies - before it's too late.
Managing advanced persistent threats will be a priority throughout 2013, says RSA CISO Eddie Schwartz. How should organizations defend themselves against APTs and the year's other top security threats?
"We're going to have to find a way to address the interests of other states to ... find common ground," Secretary of State John Kerry says. "We're just going to have to dig into it a lot deeper. I don't have a magic silver bullet to throw at you here today."
As enterprises move more applications to the cloud, continuous monitoring will play a greater role in assuring the software is patched in a timely manner, says John Streufert, DHS director of federal network resilience.
Banks have improved DDoS defenses, but ensuring ongoing online reliability requires a more offensive measure - one that rids the Internet of vulnerable sites that can too easily be used for bot traffic.
Banking institutions have spent the last two years enhancing authentication to conform to regulatory mandates. Organizations in other sectors can learn important authentication lessons from the banking industry.
Two new insider fraud cases showcase the challenges organizations face to detect and prevent crimes by trusted employees. "You need IT controls, but you need more than IT," says researcher Randy Trzeciak.
Smart phones that give many IT security managers headaches in developing security policies are being used in increasing numbers to help safeguard systems and applications, thanks to more muscular biometric features, says Steve Vinsik of Unisys.