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Cyber threats: what to be aware of in financial services

Financial organizations hold a large amount of sensitive data. The more sensitive the data, the bigger the prize for hackers and the larger a target you become.

Cyberattacks regularly make the headlines, which means your customers are aware of the threats to large businesses. They expect your organization to be protected and prepared. If you’re not, you risk losing your business.

According to a Financial Conduct Authority - FCA - report, cyberattacks in the financial industry rose by 80% in 2018 [1]. This scary figure indicates protecting your information with a robust cybersecurity solution is more vital than ever.

It’s essential to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals and the threat they pose to your livelihood.

What cybersecurity threats should you look out for?

We work with many financial organisations and have asked them what their primary security concerns were and what risks they have been dealing with. Many risks were identified, but here are the three most common.

1 | Widespread business operational risks

If your organisation operates in a large geographical area or internationally, the risk to your business is higher because servers and physical data locations may be in countries with differing security protocols. [2]

It’s important to understand the extent and reach of your data - what it is and where it is - and have the right procedures in place to deal with incidents. 

Informer’s experts can:

  • Assess your core business to gauge your current security position
  • Determine the security level you should be aiming for
  • Define what is expected of you from your customers, employees and regulators

2 | DDOS attacks

Distributed Denial of Service - DDoS - attacks are highlighted as a significant threat to the financial industry. The aim isn’t to steal sensitive information but to disrupt the functioning of your service to customers. 

DDos attacks fall into the ransomware category. In this case, ransomware completely disables the systems required for business services. They are also used as a smokescreen for other attacks, trying to divert your resources as you’re dealing with the immediate and obvious attack.

3 | Third-party risks

Does your business have the ability to continuously monitor each vendor you work with? In the likely case that your answer is no, you should be applying the same level of scrutiny to them that you would use yourself. 

Work together to put a system in place that establishes strict cybersecurity measures on both sides and ensures personal data is adequately protected. 

This is especially pertinent when it comes to GDPR and assessing the suitability of third party vendors at securely processing and storing personal information.

What should you do if you’re a victim to a cyberattack?

Cybercrime in financial service organisations should be reported to the FCA and the Information Commissioner's Office - ICO - if:

  • The cyberattack has lead to a large loss of sensitive data
  • There is a loss of control over IT systems that will affect customers
  • Malicious software has become present on the company network and communication systems

To help stop it getting to that stage, Informer continually monitors your organisation’s online environment. Informer watches every change as it happens and spots weaknesses before the attackers do. 

Your business will benefit from a complete managed security service combining continuous monitoring, security testing and intelligence. 

Book a demo of Informer today to see how it can help you.

[1] information-age.com

[2] hackernoon.com

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