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In the second quarter of 2020, cyber attacks in the financial industry grew by an astonishing 238% globally. Since then, attacks in this industry have only continued to increase.
The cyber security threats landscape is constantly evolving, and the financial industry is a prime target. We're first going to explain why exactly the financial industry is so at risk.
Then we're going to highlight in detail the 3 top cyber threats to finance right now. These are insider threats, ransomware, and serious phishing attempts.
Each of these threats can have a significant impact on businesses across the entire finance industry right now.
The first and most important reason why the financial industry is so at risk of cyberattacks is that it's the industry that holds all the world's money.
The majority of cyber-attacks are motivated by financial gain. Though some alternative motives do exist, most hackers commit these crimes to get money illegally.
But this isn't the only reason. The financial industry is also increasingly reliant on fintech (financial technology) solutions.
As the industry as a whole continues to digitize and move online or to the cloud, it opens itself up to more cyber threats.
With that in mind, we'll now outline the top cybersecurity threats in the financial industry at present. The first of these is what's known as insider threats.
Insider threats need to be understood by everyone working in the financial industry today. These attacks occur when an employee, contractor, or other individuals with access to sensitive data uses that information for malicious purposes.
This can include stealing money, selling customer data, or sabotaging systems.
Insider threats are often difficult to detect and prevent. It's hard to prepare because the individuals involved already have legitimate access.
Due to this fact, financial companies must have internal procedures in place.
Internal procedures should include things like internal checks on logins to sensitive areas. If employees remote work, these solutions also need to be fully secure at all times.
Unfortunately, this isn't a problem reserved for this particular industry. In fact, an estimated 34% of businesses around the world are at risk of insider threats.
What's particularly concerning about internal problems is that they aren't always malicious. It's also entirely possible for employees to lose or send personal data to the wrong person accidentally.
To prevent this, what's known as an insider threat protection program needs to be designed. These programs should include procedures like flagging questionable behavior by employees.
But it also includes extensive training on cybersecurity measures in any given company.
If you're unsure how to keep your company data safe, please make sure to read through our blog post where we outline 6 tips to protect your data.
Another major cyber security threat facing the financial industry is what's known as ransomware attacks.
In a ransomware attack, cybercriminals will infiltrate a device and then encrypt data. Encryption is usually achieved using an advanced form of malware.
They will then demand a ransom, usually from a company CEO, in order to decrypt it.
Ransomware can be a very costly attack for businesses, as they may have to pay the ransom and still suffer from data loss or downtime. Ransomware attacks can also result in huge damages to a company's reputation.
This is because if any data is lost in one of these attacks, companies will have to inform anyone affected. Losses like this can then damage relationships with clients, making the losses incurred by these attacks even more severe.
Ransomware attacks are becoming both more common and more sophisticated. To prevent them, it's important to invest in the right kind of IT support.
Your financial business should also be regularly backing up all of its data. If you have backups, if you do suffer a ransomware attack, you'll be able to restore it quickly and limit the damage.
Doing so also means your company can reduce downtime and keep working while you deal with the attacker.
Finally, the third serious cybersecurity threat impacting the financial industry right now is what's known as phishing.
In a phishing attack, cybercriminals will send emails or other communications that appear to be from a legitimate source.
Cybercriminals will then use these communications to trick individuals into providing sensitive data. Or, they may try and get the user to click on links that then download malware onto their devices.
You may have experienced phishing in your everyday life, as these are also serious threats to individuals today.
The best way to prevent these attacks from impacting your business is to fully train your employees. They should know what to look out for when receiving strange emails or messages from people.
Phishing attacks can be easy to identify in some cases by reviewing email addresses or cross-checking information. But much like with ransomware, these attacks are becoming more sophisticated.
This is what makes phishing attacks so dangerous. It only takes one employee's mistake, and your whole financial business could be compromised.
You should make sure to invest in a foundational level of business IT support. Investing here can help in educating your employees on cybersecurity measures.
This support can also help you introduce more preventative measures to avoid all these attacks in the future.
You should now know the top 3 cyber security threats impacting the financial industry today. Unfortunately, this isn't an exhaustive list. Though these are the most common, there are more threats out there that businesses need to be aware of.
The best way to stay protected is to invest in comprehensive IT support. To find out how our team here at Next Level Technologies can help, please do make sure to contact us directly.
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Next Level Technologies was founded to provide a better alternative to traditional computer repair and ‘break/fix’ services. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since 2009, the company has been helping it’s clients transform their organizations through smart, efficient, and surprisingly cost-effective IT solutions.