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Banking Cybersecurity Benchmark Assessments

Is your institution effectively using the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool?

The Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT), created by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), serves as a valuable resource for members of the banking industry.


Its primary purpose is to assist financial institutions in comprehensively assessing their inherent cybersecurity risks and evaluating their current state of cybersecurity readiness. By offering a standardized and quantifiable process, the CAT enables any financial institution to gauge its cybersecurity preparedness effectively.


The CAT functions by meticulously analyzing an organization's inherent risks and evaluating the maturity level of its internal controls. Banking institutions can employ the CAT through a two-part diligent inquiry:

  • Establishing the Existing Inherent Risk Profile: The CAT provides a comprehensive list of approximately 40 individual inherent risk factors related to various activities, services, or products. These factors are meticulously evaluated to determine the current level of inherent cybersecurity risk within a banking organization.

  • Evaluating the Current State of Maturity in Cybersecurity Internal Controls: Over 500 individual assessment factors are used to assess the maturity level of the internal controls in place.

Once this diligent inquiry is completed, an institution's management gains a clear understanding of the adequacy of their controls and identifies any gaps that require attention and improvement.

It's crucial for financial organizations to prioritize cybersecurity protection against evolving cyber threats. Maintaining an up-to-date cybersecurity assessment and continuously enhancing the maturity level of the existing internal control framework is essential.

To facilitate this process, The Accountware Group (TAG) offers professional assistance in conducting a diligent inquiry and provides an up-to-date Cybersecurity Assessment Report.

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