Financial Services Cyber Challenges
Financial services organizations face an increasing volume and intensity of cyber threats. The following factors contribute to the sector’s increased risk:
Nature of the Sector: Financial firms are targeted by cybercriminals 300x more than other companies due to the potential to exploit financial transactions, to hold operational systems for ransom, and steal personally identifiable information of customers for significant monetary gains.
Third-Party Vendors/Supply Chain: Like many other sectors, financial sector organizations rely on third-party vendors, making it challenging for financial institutions to manage cyber risks across their extended attack surface. Threat actors often engage in “island hopping” by infiltrating past a company’s cyber defenses by going after the weak points in a company’s supply chain or partner network, in lieu of launching a direct strike.
Employee Turnover and Insider Threats: The financial sector has one of the highest turnover rates among all industries. This fact, coupled with the increasing number of threat actors seeking current or recent employees willing to sell their credentials, requires continuous monitoring along with robust credential management.
Broad Motivations: Threat actors targeting the financial services sector are varied, and this only presents additional challenges. Not only is ransomware a growing threat, but nation-state or state-affiliated threat actors recognize how impactful taking a financial services company down would be. In having to defend against all lines of potential attack, financial organizations often feel they have to cover many fronts.