OPERATIONAL RISK

Cyber & Data Security

Prevention and risk mitigation are key components in every aspect of bank operations - the same holds true in the protection of customer data.

Cybersecurity is the prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of data, systems and processes.

Cybersecurity has three main components, data security, user security, and infrastructure security. Data security is the concepts or strategies used to keep data secure.

Data security focuses on protecting personally identifiable information (PII) from unauthorized access as one would see during a cyber breach or other significant cyber incident. Prevention and risk mitigation are key components in every aspect of bank operations - the same holds true in the protection of customer data.

Vulnerabilities & Mitigation

Cybersecurity and data security vulnerabilities come in many forms. Use these resources to know what you are dealing with and how to stay one step ahead.

Name Source Date
Scam Awareness Materials for Groups and Organizations
SSA 11/02/2020
Security Alert Pandemic Related Fraud Chargeback Scheme
Visa 10/21/2020
Advisory on Unemployment Insurance Fraud During COVID-19
FINCEN 10/13/2020
Pandemic Response Portal
09/28/2020
Unemployment Insurance Fraud Consumer Protection Guide
09/28/2020
USSS SBA OIG Joint Alert - PPP EIDL Fraud - TLP Green
09/28/2020
Cyber Fraud Task Force Bulletin - September 2020
USSS 09/25/2020
Selecting and Safely Using Collaboration Services for Telework
NSA 09/10/2020
FBI Alert: Increased use of Mobile Apps Could Lead to Exploitation
FBI 09/10/2020
Compromised Managed Service Providers
USSS 09/10/2020
State UI ACH ID List
USSS 09/10/2020
U.S. Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force Map
USSS 09/10/2020
Contact U.S. Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Forces
USSS 09/10/2020
USSS-DOL OIG UI Advisory
USSS 09/10/2020
FBI Sees Spike in Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims Filed Using Stolen Identities
FBI 09/10/2020
FinCEN Advisory on Imposter Scams and Money Mule Schemes
FinCEN 09/10/2020
Contact U.S. Department of Labor Cyber Fraud Task Forces
DOL 09/10/2020
Cybersecurity: Ransomware Alert
OCIE 09/10/2020
OCCIP Cybersecurity Alert 1 - Ransomware
OCCIP 09/10/2020
Indicators Associated with Netwalker Ransomware
FBI 09/10/2020
Malicious Cyber Actor Spoofing COVID-19 Loan Relief Webpage
CISA 09/10/2020
SBA Information Notice
SBA 07/21/2020
SBA Lender Alert EIDL
SBA 07/14/2020

Sheltered Harbor

Sheltered Harbor is the not-for-profit, industry-developed standard for protecting and recovering customer account data if a catastrophic event causes critical systems - including backups - to fail.

Its purpose is to promote the stability and resiliency of the financial sector and to preserve public confidence in the financial system in the face of an extended systems outage or destructive cyberattack.


The Sheltered Harbor standard combines secure data vaulting of critical customer account information and a resiliency plan to provide customers timely access to their data and funds in a worst-case scenario.

In many cases your core processor may provide a Sheltered Harbor solution.  Please read ICBA's Core Processor Guide.


How Does Sheltered Harbor Achieve Greater Protection for Community Bank Customers?

Industry Response — Resiliency standards established by the financial services industry ensure that consumers receive timely access to their accounts in the event that their bank or brokerage firm becomes inoperable due to a major cyber event.

Standard Data — All participating institutions make a daily copy of the consumer’s account data in a standard format, which enables the restoration of account by another institution or processor in the event of a major loss of operations.

Monitored Regularly — All participating institutions update their adherence reviews to ensure that the Sheltered Harbor standards are exercised consistently and in accordance with Sheltered Harbor specifications.

Secure Vault — Your customers’ account data is archived in a secure data vault that is protected from alteration or deletion. The data will stay intact and accessible if needed-exactly as when it was archived. Think of this as a fall-out shelter for customer data, with each institution providing its own data vault.

Sheltered Harbor in the News

Join Now

Sheltered Harbor participation is currently open to U.S. banks, broker-dealers, and service providers of all sizes.

Joining entitles participants access to the standard, support content and experts to help with implementation, and the knowledge that the institution is being proactive in protecting its customer account data.

Does Your Bank Have a .Bank Domain?

.BANK is an evolution in relationship management, offering a trusted, verified, more secure, and easily identifiable location on the internet for your customers and your bank, regardless of size. .BANK provides a trustworthy stamp of approval for your online offerings.


Manage your .Bank domain or register one:

  • EnCirca Website:

    Formed in 2001, EnCirca is an ICANN-Accredited registrar and registry validation provider based in Boston.  EnCirca is the leading domain name registrar for .BANK domain names. EnCirca specializes in complex and custom registrar solutions for the domain name industry. Contact sales@encirca.com to request a consultation.

  • fTLD Website

What Makes .BANK Safer?

Through verification and mandatory security requirements the .BANK domain creates a safer space and acts as a visual security cue for bank employees or customers.


The .BANK at the end of an email address or website URL confirms that the email communication is authentic and that the website is owned by a bank and is a safe place to manage his or her finances. This simple visual cue enables security that employees and customers can recognize and participate in, ensuring the space remains safe for everyone.

.BANK domains have 6 critical security requirements beyond a standard .COM domain creating additional layers of protection to the consumer, plus verification, which when combined with email authentication, creates security that cannot be replicated in the .COM space. Consider the following difference between .COM and .BANK requirements: