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Monthly Documentation for FFIEC Guidelines

When auditors come knocking, one of the first things they need to see is that your bank adheres to the multitude of FFIEC guidelines for information security. Say goodbye to manually compiling antivirus health, asset summaries, patch audits, remote access usage logs, and more into reports.

Tip: Make sure your MSP clearly understands your auditor's specific requirements. There can be nuances in how certain pieces of evidence must be presented per regulation or examination type.

Your MSP automatically generates these monthly documentation packets, giving auditors a complete picture of your IT security posture and compliance with governing standards. This frees up your internal team to focus on daily needs.

Quarterly Access and Vulnerability Reports

Every quarter, you must demonstrate thorough user access reviews and remediation steps for identified vulnerabilities. An experienced MSP conducts an in-depth Active Directory assessment and scans for gaps using industry-leading vulnerability assessment tools like Nessus and Qualys.

Tip: Provide your MSP with details on recent changes to user roles, new application deployments, infrastructure updates, etc. This provides essential context for accurate access reviews and vulnerability scans.

You receive a detailed report of inactive accounts, excessive permissions, security holes, and a prioritized plan to mitigate risks based on criticality and your bank's risk tolerance.

Weekly Firewall and IPS Review

Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems are a core defense against cyber threats, but they require diligent monitoring and updating far beyond in-house capabilities for most banks. Your MSP performs a weekly firewall and IPS review, optimizing rules, updating signatures, and ensuring these critical security controls work properly and provide maximum protection.

Tip: Map out all network zones, IP ranges, and specialty configurations so your MSP understands the full firewall/IPS landscape and can fine-tune accordingly.

Pre-Audit Packet for Compliance

Ever feel like you're reinventing the wheel each audit, scrambling to collect the same documentation over and over? A seasoned MSP knows exactly what supporting evidence auditors need to verify compliance across regulations like GLBA, FFIEC, and state-specific requirements.

Tip: Walk through past audit requests with your MSP to identify the most commonly requested data points and reports. Help them develop a standardized pre-audit packet tailored precisely for your bank's auditors. They provide this ready-to-go deliverable with precise data and narratives mapped to your bank's IT environment and prevailing guidelines. This prevents costly scope creep and rework down the line.

Remediation Assistance for IT Audit Findings

Even the most diligent IT teams receive audit findings requiring remediation and process improvements. It's where many banks scramble and struggle without adequate resources or expertise to properly implement auditor recommendations.

Tip: Get buy-in from stakeholders on using the MSP's Compliance Specialist as the designated owner and project manager for all remediation initiatives stemming from audits.

The Compliance Specialist works closely with your team to develop a comprehensive remediation project work plan. This includes allocating technical resources, setting timelines and deliverables, and assisting with implementation until all findings are resolved and final auditor sign-off.

Support with FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool

Introduced in 2015, the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool is a repeatable and measurable process for evaluating your bank's cyber preparedness. It's a rigorous undertaking that deserves the full attention of experienced cybersecurity professionals who live and breathe frameworks like NIST, CERT-RMM, and CIS Controls.

Tip: Use your MSP's tool expertise as a knowledge transfer opportunity. Have key players from your IT team sit side-by-side during assessment activities to increase their own proficiencies.

Your MSP's Compliance Specialist takes the lead, guiding your team through domains, categories, and maturity levels – ensuring an accurate and honest self-assessment. The resulting data serves as a powerful risk management tool for prioritizing security improvements.

Patch Management and Vulnerability Scans

Missing patches and unresolved vulnerabilities are an auditor's nightmare, providing open doorways for threat actors to compromise systems and data. Say goodbye to manual tracking in spreadsheets and ad-hoc remediation efforts only addressed once issues are identified.

Tip: Review your MSP's patch management policy and process periodically to align it with your bank's risk profile and compliance mandates, which can shift over time.

A reputable MSP leverages enterprise tools to systematically manage Microsoft and third-party patching across servers, workstations, and third-party applications. Strict patch procedures reduce attack surfaces from unpatched security flaws. They also conduct quarterly vulnerability scans, analyzing results and methodically addressing gaps according to risk level.


Banking audits and IT examinations are stressful enough without having to scramble documentation, chase down logs, and manually prepare endless reports. By partnering with a professional MSP like JMARK, which focuses on IT compliance for financial institutions, you gain a force multiplier that simplifies audits while improving your overall security posture year-round.

Following the tips above will maximize the return on your MSP partnership and ensure smooth, rigorous audits that provide your board and leadership team with the assurance they need regarding IT compliance and risk management.

No more sleepless nights, no more pit in your stomach as auditors arrive. Just the confidence of operating a secure, fully compliant IT environment – giving you time back to focus on serving customers and growing your bank's bottom line.

Let us help.

Get connected with a JMARK team member who will help you take the headache out of banking audits.


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