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Cyber security awarness month: cyber threats to financial services

Cyber security Awareness Month continues in its 18th year to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security and to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to be safer online. For consumers it is vital that they are aware of the dangers posed by hacker attacks and ransomare on their accounts.

Top Resources to Bookmark During National Cyber Security Awareness Month -  Union Bank

Threats to banks, investment firms and insurers

Banks, investment firms and insurers are prime targets for cyber criminals that seek to steal money and information, disrupt operations and destroy critical infrastructure by compromising data-rich financial services institutions. Cyber crime is an existential problem for financial institutions, and they need to invest in cyber security. As gatekeepers to valuable customers, financial institutions are subject to an increasing number of cyber security rules and regulations. Financial firms are motivated to make significant investments and collaborations under pressure from regulators to improve the financial services industry's preparation, response and resilience to cybersecurity threats. 

Despite several years of strengthening cyber security capabilities, the financial services sector is still struggling to keep pace with fast-moving targets. There is no shortage of money or technological tools to support cyber-risk management and such threats are high on the agenda of executives and board members. While some sectors of the economy are struggling with the current skills shortage in cyber security, financial services firms are among the most prominent targets that need to be vigilant when it comes to cyber security. 

Beyond cyber security threats, financial services are also vulnerable to cyber criminals who target the financial sector in the hope of making large profits. According to a 2020 IBM report, financial firms in the financial services sector were among the top three targeted sectors by insider attacks. COVID-19 is responsible for a 238 percent increase in targeted bank cyber security assaults. Cyber hackers, who thrive on instability and uncertainty, have seized the opportunity presented by the crisis.

Cyber-threat actors are 300x more likely to target financial services providers and businesses than any other industry. From disgruntled employees to poorly paid bank employees, 75% of insider attacks are deliberate

Financial service providers work closely with funds to obtain personal references and other sensitive data. Cyber criminals buy information such as login credentials, account information, usernames and passwords on the darknet and use this information via social engineering and other techniques to gain access to bank accounts, credit information and more from financial institutions. This can be of enormous value to attackers who can divert payments or sell confidential customer and company data or hold important files for ransom.

National attacks by foreign governments or state-sponsored attacks by associated cyber criminal groups are two of the biggest risks to the financial sector. These groups use many of the same attack tactics (BEs, ransomware, phishing) as sophisticated hackers, but have the technical skills and financing structures to do so. A study of the Ponemon Institute of small and medium enterprises across all industries in 2018 found that social engineering attacks have increased from 48% in 2017 to 52% in 2018. Regardless of the extent of the malicious activity, it is important to understand existing and emerging social engineering threats and steps that you can take to protect your business. This provides a clearer picture of the emerging vulnerabilities and attacks that are common in today's threat landscape. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell considers cyber attacks to be the greatest threat to the global financial system. Future of Cyber Threats from Accenture Security 2021 examines how threat actors use COVID-19 to exploit the financial sector at a time when the global economy and individuals’ livelihoods depend on and are supported by financial services. Social engineering is a type of cybercrime that uses behavioral techniques to trick people into sending money or disclosing confidential information like passwords, bank details and other personal and protected material

Large-scale blackouts and recent natural disasters have increased the number and complexity of cyber attacks, highlighting the wide range of possible risks to the financial services sector. At the time of writing, several financial service providers are restoring their networks after disruptive cyber attacks. Several banks and providers of core banking systems have reportedly been victims of separate ransom and extortion threats from cyber criminals that caused the suspension of ATM transactions. In fact, hackers used distributed denial of service (DDoS) to offline websites linked to exchanges, and such disruptions not only affected customer service but also undermined trust in the peer financial services community.

On May 7th, 2021 a ransomware attack on a major pipeline operator in the eastern United States prompted the company to stop operations, resulting in fuel shortages and panicked purchases of gas pipelines not seen since 1973. Cyber threats are major threats to business continuity and the reputation of companies of all types and sizes and they are also among the most serious threats to financial services companies. For companies such as custody banks, asset managers and other companies where individuals and institutions deposit their money and trust, the severity and potential consequences of a successful network break-in, data theft, or ransomware attack can go much deeper and last much longer.

 

The basics of cyber security - Increasing cyber security awareness

So sind Unternehmen auf einen Cybersecurity-Vorfall vorbereitet

Cyber security for corporate employees means understanding the cyber threat, potential impact of cyber attacks on their business and the steps needed to reduce the risk and prevent cyber crime from encroaching their online workplaces. Cyber security awareness is a combination of knowledge of what needs to be done to protect a company's information resources. Creating a culture of cyber security awareness at work does not mean that you can eliminate the risk of data theft and cyber crime in your company. However, implementing basic cyber security measures is crucial for companies, and employees awareness of cyber security is one of them. A strong culture of cyber security awareness works wonders to mitigate cyber risks, as it helps employees understand and follow the basic best practices of cyber security

One of the most direct ways to raise awareness of cyber security within an organization is to develop a formal training program around cyber security practices. When an organization has a formal cyber security training program, there is little doubt that security awareness is an important issue for the larger organization, let alone educating employees about what they should and should not do. Employees internalize critical cyber security concepts that help keep your organization secure. 

Cyber Security Awareness Month encourages leaders, executives, and policymakers to modernize their security practices to adapt to the increasing complexity of fraudsters. In today's cyber security climate, organizations must move away from outdated authentication methods and implement advanced identity verification solutions, such as face-based and biometric authentication, to confirm that online users are what they claim to be. The overarching theme of this month is to empower individuals and organizations to play their part in protecting their own part of cyberspace. Everyone must play their part by adopting strong safety practices, raising community awareness, training vulnerable audiences, and training staff to make our connected world safer and more resilient. Cyber Security Awareness Month is particularly important to educate consumers on how to protect their digital identities and manage personal data and consent rights.

Awareness raising alone is not a high enough goal for cyber security training. A well-functioning cyber security awareness and training programme includes and integrates new and relevant knowledge and insights. In order to change security-related behaviors that could lead to attacks or losses, the training should present various scenarios to help employees internalize that they need to remain aware. 

Cyber security is the protection of systems connected to the Internet, such as hardware, software and data, from cyber threats. Training security awareness is part of the formal process of educating employees about emerging cyber threats and their role in protecting their organizations. 

Cyber security is a worrying issue because threats and attacks from the Internet are rampant. With the increasing number of users, devices and programs in modern companies combined with the increasing flood of data that are many sensitive and confidential, the importance of cybersecurity continues to grow. The growing volume and complexity of cyber attackers and attack techniques is exacerbating the problem. In addition, attacks are becoming more innovative and sophisticated to disrupt security through hacking systems. It is a challenge for companies and security analysts to overcome these challenges and defend themselves against these attacks.

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