Why The Financial Services Industry Must Prioritize Cybersecurity

threat of cybercrime

The financial services industry is facing a cybersecurity crisis. Firms must respond by prioritizing cybersecurity above all else. Here’s why.

How Likely Are Financial Services Firms to Face Cyber Attacks?

For five years and counting, the financial services industry has been the number one most commonly targeted industry by cybercriminals and their cyberattacks. The industry isn’t winning that title by a small margin, either. Financial services firms are 300 times more likely to be attacked by cybercriminals than other companies. And the scary truth is that cyberattacks are only increasing in frequency, becoming more advanced, and developing into an even greater threat than they already are.

What Cyber Threats Does the Financial Services Industry Face?

There are countless types of cyberattacks, but these four account for 94% of attacks against the financial services industry:

  • SQL Injection (SQLi)
  • Local File Inclusion (LFI)
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • OGNL Java Injection

The consequences of these attacks are dire; they include complete account takeover and unauthorized access to sensitive data such as client information, credit card numbers, and passwords. Other common types of cyberattacks include phishing and ransomware.

How Dangerous Are Cyber Attacks?

In short? Very. According to a study conducted by IBM, the average amount a data breach cost affected businesses in 2021 was $13 million and when data breaches occurred, they took an average of 212 days to identify and another 286 days to contain. Cybercriminals very rarely face consequences, with only a .05% chance of prosecution, which means cybercriminals aren’t being caught or stopped from attacking again. The threat of cybercrime is a very serious one.

How Often Do Cyber Attacks Succeed?

There isn’t definitive data on what percentage of attempted cybercrimes are successful, but with various sources citing the frequency with which unique cyberattacks occur between every 32 and 39 seconds, the percentage doesn’t really matter. The sheer volume of cyberattacks that are constantly occurring means that there will be a substantial number of successful attacks. As top targets for cybercriminals, financial services firms should be generous when estimating success rates and assume that their attackers are likely to succeed.

What Should Financial Services Do About Cyber Threats?

The best thing you can do to protect your financial services firm from cyberattacks is to prepare. First, educate your team on the different types of cyber threats they might face so that they’re less likely to fall victim to attacks and consequently compromise your organization.

Second, partner with a cybersecurity services company to perform a risk assessment that determines your vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. From there, work with your cybersecurity partner to develop secure protocols and engage in risk mitigation.

Third, your organization should develop a robust disaster preparedness and recovery plan that accounts for cyberattacks as well as other kinds of disasters and security breaches. Roll out the plan so your entire team is educated on it, then test and update it regularly.

Who Can Help Financial Services Firms to Combat Cyber Attacks?

CyberTeam is a leading IT and cybersecurity services company with over 20 years of industry experience providing cybersecurity consulting and solutions to a wide range of companies, including some of the biggest firms in the financial services industry. We’re ready to help you protect your company next.

Interested in understanding the risk to your business? Sign up for a risk assessment today!

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