Top 3 Cybersecurity Risks Faced by Financial Services Firms

code on a computerFinancial services firms are among the ranks of the companies and industries most likely to be targeted in cyber attacks. In fact, for more than five years, the financial services industry has been the number one greatest target of all cyber attacks on businesses. It’s important for professionals in the industry to educate themselves on the types of threats they’re facing so that they know how to defend against cyber attacks and can appropriately protect their firms.

The Types of Cyber Attacks

There are an incredible and ever-increasing number of ways that nefarious entities conduct their cyber attacks. However, these three types are the most commonly faced by financial services firms and are therefore the greatest threats to the industry.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are an incredibly prevalent threat facing financial institutions. A phishing scam is intended to trick users into sharing personal information. This is often achieved by pretending that the phishing message was sent by a trustworthy person or entity. These scams can target both employees and clients of financial services firms. To an unsuspecting individual, a well-executed phishing scam can appear incredibly convincing. The finance sector is the most frequent target of phishing attacks, so it’s important for financial services firms to educate their employees on how to detect a phishing scam. There are also preventative measures that can be taken using IT solutions that bolster cybersecurity.

Ransomware Attacks

The number of ransomware attacks that firms in the financial services industry have fielded in recent years has increased exponentially. Financial institutions and financial services firms are particularly attractive targets for ransomware attacks because of all of the sensitive financial information that those institutions possess. In a ransomware attack, users are locked out of their computers due to malware encryption. They then demand a sum of money be paid to them as ransom and will extort the victims until the sum is paid. One of the most common extortion methods is publishing sensitive client and institution data online in increments. Because of how effective these exploitation methods tend to be, ransomware attacks have dangerous implications for firms as well as their clients.

Web Application Attacks

There are several different types of prevalent web application attacks that threaten the cybersecurity of financial services firms. Collectively, these cyber attacks pose one of the greatest cybersecurity threats to the financial services industry. The different web application attacks include SQL injections, local file inclusion, cross-site scripting, and OGNL Java injections. What this means is that cybercriminals will find vulnerabilities in popular online applications and use those vulnerabilities to attack the users of those applications. These types of attacks often grant remote access to malicious actors and result in major data breaches.

How to Defend Against Cyber Attacks

Because financial services firms are such a major target for cyber attacks, it’s critical that they take steps to proactively guard against any and all threats by learning how to defend against cyber attacks. CyberTeam is a leading cybersecurity firm trusted by many major financial institutions and financial services firms. Our team of cybersecurity experts conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and offer risk mitigation services that involve the design and implementation of custom cybersecurity solutions to address said vulnerabilities. If you’re interested in working with us, contact us to discuss the benefits of risk assessment.Assess Your Risk Level