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Rapid shift to digital is outpacing the ability of banks to respond to cyber threats

Rapid shift to digital is outpacing the ability of banks to respond to cyber threats

The rapid shift to digital by established banks in Apac is outpacing their capacity to adequately protect themselves from emergent cyber threats, according to analysis by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-Isac).

Recent trends in financial services such as the wholesale move to cloud, the emergence of new fintech players competing against traditional financial institutions, and mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is forcing banks the world over to rapidly upgrade their IT infrastructure.

FS-Isac says the teutonic shift to digital is laying firms open to ransomware and supply chain attacks, as well as a resurgence of banking trojans and distributed denial of service (DDoS) threats.

According to a 2021 Check Point report, 75% of firms says that the security of their public cloud infrastructure is a serious concern, as many enterprises are still getting to grips with addressing the different security challenges associated with cloud-based technologies.

The FS-ISAC 2021 Cyber Trends and Threats Review also identified other significant issues facing the region, including the strengthening of regulatory oversight of cyber risk management, organisational challenges to threat response, and an acute cybersecurity talent shortage.

FS-Isac says financial firms must re-imagine cybersecurity policies and procedures for a new era where the industry is hyperconnected and cyber threats know no bounds.

"As digitalisation of financial services across the Asia Pacific region takes place at record speed, firms should be aware of the accompanying pitfalls and take steps to mitigate them," says Christophe Barel, managing director for Apac, FS-Isac. “In 2021, third-party risk and ransomware continue to dominate the cyber threat environment, while the resurgent threats of DDoS and trojans have also reared their heads. Sharing intelligence both globally and amongst members in the region can help firms understand not only new and emerging tools, techniques, and procedures used by cyber criminals but also best practices on how to defend against them."

The threats posed are not limited to the Apac region, but are endemic in all financial markets. Just yesterday, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors participated in a cyber exercise that covered how G7 members will seek to cooperate in the hypothetical event of a significant, cross-border incident affecting the financial sector.

At the virtual meeting, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen endorsed a renewal of the G7 Cyber Expert Group’s mandate and reaffirmed the agency's commitment to counter the threats posed by ransomware and other malicious cyber activity across the financial services sector and economy.

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