FBI Honolulu and Bank of Guam Describe Cybersecurity Partnership
Steven Merrill, special agent in charge of FBI Honolulu, and Josephine Mariano, senior vice president and BSA officer at Bank of Guam, discuss how they worked together to respond when cybercriminals were stealing from bank customers.
My name is Steven Merrill. Special Agent in Charge of FBI Honolulu.
And I'm Josephine Mariano, senior vice president, chief BSA Officer for Bank of Guam.
Common cyber scams are on a meteoric rise in the last five years. Scams like spoofing and phishing have seen almost a 1200 percent increase. And when employed by malicious cyber criminals, these scams can have devastating effects on their chosen targets.
And unfortunately, these criminals recently tried to make our bank one of those targets, sending our customers emails that seem legitimate but were actually designed to steal their data. Our security systems quickly notified us that several of our customers had been victimized and that money was being siphoned from their accounts. Of course, we immediately called our partners that the FBI's Guam resident agency.
And we sprang into action immediately kickstarting the recall of funds processed and requesting assistance with the Federal Reserve Bank. Here at the FBI, we can follow the money that's been stolen from victims and in plenty of instances, freeze it and seize it more frequently. We're able to block money transfers. Last year alone, our Internet Crime Complaint Centers Recovery Asset Team stopped over $380 million from being stolen from individuals and businesses of all sizes.
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But we can only see this level of success with help from our partners, like the Bank of Guam.
Maintaining a working relationship with our local FBI office was critical to our success in navigating this crisis. Our quick reporting helped the FBI determine a common point of compromise, and this immediate feedback allowed us to implement additional fraud prevention controls and reduce the amount of loss to our customers.
That's right. We are stronger together. Know that the best step towards protecting your business is to pick up the phone and start forming a relationship with your local FBI field office.
Next, ensure that your organization has an incident response plan and include the FBI in that plan. It is important that your organization exercises your incident response plan on a routine basis.
Finally, in the event you do suffer a cyber incident report the compromise early and often you can contact your local field office. Day or night. Or file a report. And I see three August.
Remember, cyber risk is business risk.
And cybersecurity is national security. We can defend America's values, ingenuity, critical infrastructure and business equities through robust and enduring partnerships.
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