When it comes to complex and demanding cybersecurity jobs, being a CISO or analyst in the financial sector must be up there with some of the hardest. Not only is the financial sector a very appealing target for bad actors, but the data and assets you’re looking to protect are some of the most valuable out there, not only for the organization involved but for the wider economy.
Take a look at five of the biggest threats that banks face today.
5 of the biggest cyber threats facing banks in 2022-2023
1. Unencrypted information
In the event of a data breach, any data left unencrypted is immediately accessible to criminals. This means that bad actors can act very quickly indeed and perform a vast number of fraudulent activities using your client’s data, emails are a specific and very simple target.
Data encryption is a fundamental step in protecting financial data and minimizing risk — encryption adds another barrier that criminals must break through to use the information for their own means. Risk can be mitigated from the ground up, so making sure that you implement encryption as a company-wide practice will help safeguard your data should you or your clients fall victim to cybercrime.
2. Insecure third parties
Third parties are involved in financial services in many ways — customer service being one of the most common. However, in outsourcing these elements of their business, banks extend their digital data perimeter, adding uncertainty to the cybersecurity framework.
It’s essential that you are rigorous in analyzing the cybersecurity measures that third-party entities employ. It only takes one weak spot to then compromise your entire network.
3. Insider vulnerabilities
These are tough to mitigate as the threat level comes down to an individual person; malicious activities from insiders can include intentional sabotage, fraudulent activity, theft, and spying.
There are many variables and incentives that an individual may have that increase their threat profile. For example, this could be a former employee that attained high-level working knowledge of your organization and therefore could be targeted by hackers. Employees may deviate from your organization’s protocols by using their personal email address when dealing with work, which creates notable vulnerabilities.
As a CISO, it’s advisable to establish a framework for preventing insider threats as much as is practicable.
4. Spoofing and phishing
Spoofing occurs when threat actors copy an existing banking website and then fool the user into adding their credentials, just as they would when prompted on the legitimate web page. Typically, these spoofing sites have slightly different URLs to the site they try to mimic — that said, criminals are now capable of targeting users that visit the bank directly as well. Spoofing is a concerning tactic that you’ll need to be vigilant about when protecting your clients and their customers.
If spoofing targets banking users, then phishing is the threat to watch for within the team. Hackers will send an email to the inbox of a banking employee, prompting the person to enter their security credentials. These emails are normally disguised to an extent, but with a careful education and awareness program, plus best-in-class tools, you can raise your levels of protection.
5. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
Distributed Denial of Service attacks aim to overwhelm a bank’s servers or surrounding infrastructure with such an amount of traffic that it severely disrupts or impedes operations. Normally, a DDoS attack is carried out by a network of internet connected devices that have been configured with malware (bots), allowing the criminals to control the infected devices remotely.
DDoS attacks have been on the rise in 2022 (up 109% YoY) and you should expect to see more going into 2023. While sophisticated DDoS attacks are challenging to stop, there are some solutions that CISOs can use including WAFs (web application firewalls), server request limits, and routing traffic into ‘blackholes’.
How Logpoint can help
At Logpoint, we offer a comprehensive SAP (System Applications and Products) security solution that mitigates the threats faced by banks.
BCS for SAP security is an effective tool offering:
- Fraudulent activity prevention
- Data protection
- Identification of illegitimate access attempts
- Automated data analysis
- Information leaks
- Security monitoring
Integrate our SAP security system with SIEM for an all-encompassing package that delivers cybersecurity for the whole organization.
Learn more about Logpoint BCS for SAP and how to implement it here.