Financial services organisations are in the cross hairs for cyber attacks

April 5, 2016

The financial services industry has a long history of providing exceptional value and deep confidence in a world of risk. Today, the intense competitiveness of financial services demands a constant search for cost-effective ways to improve performance to meet customer demands while retaining loyalty and trust.

As banks and other financial institutions take advantage of mobile, cloud, social and other technical trends to reignite growth and rebuild customer trust, several competing forces come into play including the provision of an airtight security and digital privacy that customers expect.

 Cyber-attacks faced by the financial services:

Cyber criminals are also using the same emerging technologies to launch increasingly damaging attacks, such as:

  • Ransomware that restricts access to the infected computer system and demands that the user pay a ransom to remove the restriction.
  • Cloud-based botnets that takeover processing power.
  • Exploitation of Near Field Communications, which banks are using for new services.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DD0oS) attacks launched via the cloud, thereby increasing their intensity and impact.
  • Hacks on multifactor authentication technologies, fostering disruption and fear among customers.

The impact of cyber-attack:

As financial firms chart new paths, the high cost of failure comes into play, such as regulatory penalties, class-action lawsuits, lost revenue, brand damage and diminished shareholder faith. Held to a higher standard because of the nature of the industry and the vast amount of sensitive data that is involved, they must ensure that their services not only offer an unparalleled customer experience, but are also secure.

Beyond the immediate financial impact, the consequences of a data breach can extend from brand and reputation damage to loss of revenue, degraded consumer confidence, lower share prices and greater regulatory scrutiny.

How to keep your financial institution safe:

  • Businesses should consider cyber insurance as comprehensive Cyber Risk Management strategy. Cyber Risk Insurance policy is designed to cover a variety of both liability and property losses is another way to keep your institution safe as policies cover a variety of expenses associated with data breaches, including: notification costs, credit monitoring, costs to defend claims by state regulators, fines and penalties, and loss resulting from identity theft.
  • The ability to respond appropriately to a cyber attack can mean the difference between a business’s success and failure. Driven by resilient and relentless hackers, cyber criminals and nation states, today’s attacks are increasingly sophisticated and complex.
  • In order to get ahead and stay ahead, security practices must go beyond keeping pace with the constantly evolving threat landscape. Doing so will demand constant attention and on going investments to prevent, protect, detect and respond to security risks.
  • It is vital that financial services organizations invest in personnel, processes and technology to understand and monitor the various threat actors who may be motivated to disrupt core business functions.
  • Given the evolving nature of cyber threats and the importance of cyber resilience to the business continuity, information security merits board-level attention.

Cyber-attacks continue to escalate, many financial services are improving their security programme with technologies such as cloud-based cyber security services, big data analytics and advanced authentication using biometrics.

Anglo African Consulting Ltd addresses the market, security and compliance challenges now facing the financial services Industry. Our team are dedicated to give you the solutions you need to secure, automate, standardize, and streamline operations and transactions.

Contact us on 2331636 or via email, we will be please to assist you.


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