Information Security Blog

FDIC focusing on Quarterly Vulnerability Assessments in Banking

FDIC focusing on Quarterly Vulnerability Assessments in Banking

 Quarterly Vulnerability Assessments in BankingOne interesting thing about working in the banking industry is the evolution of the “annual security assessment” mandated by the FDIC. Each year we find that the auditors usually emphasize a different information security issue in addition to the fundamentals (e.g., external penetration test, internal penetration test, Risk Assessment, FFIEC information security handbook, etc.). This approach makes sense and reflects the evolving threats of the day. Over the last few years we have seen an additional emphasis on areas like WLAN security, Social Engineering, and malware.

In speaking with some of our clients this year we are hearing that there is an increased emphasis on Quarterly Vulnerability Scans (both internally and externally). Many of our banking clients that have more mature Information Security Management Systems have been taking this approach for the last few years. The approach is consistent with prevailing good practice and is a very effective means of reducing a bank’s information security risk between annual penetration tests. If you are going to move in this direction you should consider the additional benefits of using credentialed vulnerability assessments as they more accurately identify a much wider array of vulnerabilities.

I’m impressed with the FDIC’s approach. Some might argue that they could have pushed for all (or most) of these incremental improvements years ago; however, their “continuous improvement” approach is consistent with the world’s leading information security management standard (ISO-27001). We have found that a slower, steady approach of this nature is far less disruptive and gives an organization the time to fully “operationalize” each improvement before taking on a new challenge.


Download: Information Security Attestation Guide

Information Security GuideA Best-Practices Guide to Information Security Attestation

Download our proven Information Security Guide to simplify the process of protecting your data, proving you’re secure and growing your business.

Free Download: ISO 27001 Vendor Selection Toolkit

“ISOOur ISO 27001 Toolkit will help you to select an ISO 27001 consulting firm.
  • Review the Issues Critical to Your Environment
  • "Vet" Vendor Qualifications
  • Compare the Top 3 Vendors
  • Sample RFP Included

Free Whitepaper: Five Best Practices for SIEM


The promise of SIEM is the consolidation of all relevant Security Event Logs from disparate sources into a single unified and normalized data store.

Free Download: A Best Practices Guide to Database Security

database security roadmap

Because data is only as secure as the systems & processes it relies on – a holistic approach to data security is essential. This roadmap is not meant to be exhaustive but rather to stimulate the necessary thought process to put you on the path to good data security.

Is ISO 27001 Right for (Y)our Organization?


Thinking about ISO 27001 Certification? View our free On-Demand ISO 27001 Webinar

  • How to deal with increasing threats
  • How to manage multiple regulatory requirements
  • How to handle client requests for attestation
  • To validate that significant changes did not have unanticipated results

Best Practices for Firing A Network Security Administrator

Firing A Network Security AdministratorWant to know how to fire a Network Admin? Need to know what precautions to take? Firing any employee can be a stressful event. Firing one who has significant knowledge of and privileged access to your Information Technology/Security infrastructure is even more stressful, as the risks are so notable.

Free Whitepaper: Stop Wasting Money on Penetration Testing


Penetration Testing is most frequently performed to:

  • Substantiate the net effectiveness of a mature control environment
  • Prove to a third party that an environment is secure/trustworthy
  • Quickly assess the security of a less mature control environment (in a sense a technical risk assessment)
  • To validate that significant changes did not have unanticipated results

Free Download: ISO 27001 Implementation Roadmap

ISO 27001 RoadmapHave no fear – our “roadmap” will guide you, step by step, through the entire ISO 27001 process.

Getting to ISO 27001 certification is a process made up of things you already know – and things you may already be doing!

About the Author:

John Verry (CISA, 27001 Certified Lead Auditor, CCSE, CRISC) is Pivot Point's resident "Security Sherpa". He is lucky enough to spend most of his day helping clients develop a road map to address security, compliance, and attestation requirements.

Add a Comment

Share This