This week SecurityHQ released a white paper on the ‘Financial Sector, Threat Landscape 2020’. In this paper, and through an analysis of a real-life threat to a large financial client, their findings revealed the five top security challenges that the financial sector are currently facing, the risks of future threats, and how to spot these risks before it is too late.
Among other elements, five of the top challenges to the financial industry include ransomware attacks, internal threats, issues in app developments, changes in working due to COVID-19, and third-party risks.
In the three years since the term was added to the dictionary, ransomware has increased dramatically both in terms of the number of attacks, but also in terms of the range of methods used to conduct said attacks. Often, once an attack is made, the bad actor will sell the details on to their associates to go after the victim again after deployment, because the payload can still be there, activated and deactivated.
According to the Verizon, 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) ‘employees’ mistakes account for roughly the same number of breaches as external parties who are actively attacking’ the organisation. In fact, misdelivery within the company, by which information has inadvertently been sent to the wrong person, appears to be the most common issue within insider threats.
Many apps do not provide two-factor authentication, are not supported by the appropriate regulations, are not patched or maintained properly, and do not have contingency plans in place to mitigate the effects of a cyber-attack. As a result, personal information of app users is relatively easy to steal and sell. This can be done by creating duplicate fraudulent apps to trick the user. On these duplicate apps, the imagery and language of the genuine app is mirrored.
These days, few organisations work on their own. The majority use third parties, including vendors, partners, e-mail providers, service providers, web hosting, law firms, data management companies, subcontractors and so on. With regards to many of these, from IT systems to sensitive information shared with legal teams, these third parties could easily be a backdoor into your financial systems for attackers to infiltrate.
Cyber criminals are continuing to target the financial sector amidst the pandemic. As a result, we have seen a spike in attacks on banks, financial organisations and the third parties connected to them. Before COVID-19, if an attacker wanted to sabotage a company or steal data, they would target the business itself. The website, the social accounts, the logins and all their vulnerabilities. In response, organisations had parameters set up for this. But now, you just need to target a single remote worker.
To read more about these threats, to explore a real-life analysis within the financial sector, and to learn how to mitigate your industry specific threats, download the white paper here.