CYBERSECURITY FOR COMPANIES IN THE FIELD OF FINANCE AND INSURANCE

Improve your cybersecurity and maintain the trust of your customers.

Financial institutions are facing increasingly complex challenges to secure their valuable data from cyber attacks. These organizations hold a large volume of critical customer information, banking records and stock trading algorithms which makes them a primary target for modern cybercriminals. From web applications becoming more complicated – to mobile apps/websites constantly changing to replace legacy systems and offering a wider range of features – to online transactions becoming much more prevalent, the need to test your cybersecurity measures has become a necessity to mitigate the risks of a cyber attack.

According to a White Paper published last year by The Identity Theft Resource Center, “75% of surveyed financial organizations said they did not have a formal cybersecurity incident response plan across their organization” – Which leaves them exposed to a damaging breach that can potentially spread across all systems and cause irreversible damage to both their reputation and infrastructure.

Common Cybersecurity Challenges Faced by the Finance and Insurance Industry

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Securing a constantly growing and increasingly fragmented infrastructure.

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Integrating new technologies to legacy systems.

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Maintaining the availability of features and customer data across all devices while keeping data and applications secure.

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Minimising the financial, technical and reputational impact of a potential breach.

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Securing a large volume of critical financial information from internal and external attacks.

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The Impact of a Cyberattack in the Finance and Insurance Industry

As Financial Organisations become primary targets for cybercriminals, hackers are progressively becoming more resourceful and sophisticated in their attacks. The impact of a breach can result in disruption of the service across all users and compromise large amounts of customer data, which allows the attackers to perform fraudulent transactions that are often untraceable.

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Tesco Bank
(Retail bank in the UK)

was fined £16.4m following a breach which exposed the data of thousands of their customers. The attackers were able to carry out over 30 transactions using compromised banking information, which allowed them to steal £2.26m over the course of 48 hours. The identity of the cybercriminals remains unknown nearly two years after the attack.

The breach occurred through a vulnerable design of their debit card which allowed hackers to identify the PAN number of multiple accounts and perform transactions on their behalf. The attack was able to go undetected for an entire day due to inadequate security systems and a series of mistakes from their Crime Operations Team - who sent an email to the wrong address instead of making a phone call to confirm the customer’s identity during a transaction and who incorrectly configured a system meant to stop the fraudulent transactions once the attack was discovered

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Equifax
(Credit Reporting Agency)

was recently hit by one of the biggest data breaches in history which compromised the personal information of over 140 Million American Citizens and over 1 Million consumers across the world. This attack exposed personal information such as Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license, and even credit card numbers, which can be used by the hackers to steal the consumer’s identity and access their sensitive information from bank accounts to medical records.

The breach occurred due to a misconfiguration of an intrusion detection system for which the certificate had expired 19 months prior to the discovery of the breach, as well as inadequate management of their security measures which left over 300 security certificates expired for several months, 79 of which were meant to monitor critical domains. According to the authors of the breach report “Equifax failed to fully appreciate and mitigate its cybersecurity risks. Had the company taken action to address its observable security issues prior to this cyber attack, the data breach could have been prevented”

These incidents prove the importance of regularly auditing the security of all your systems and providing adequate training to your team to raise awareness towards these types of attacks. A minor security breach on one of your systems – or a minor mistake from one of your employees – can result in millions of dollars in fines or direct losses to the Business, as it provides an entry point for hackers to exploit your other vulnerabilities.

Quick Assessment of your Cybersecurity with 6 Questions

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Is there a system in place to actively detect and remediate to cyber attacks?

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How often are Manual Penetration Tests performed on your infrastructure and applications?

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Is your staff adequately trained on the sensitivity and the risks of information security?

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Is your critical data accessible from other internal systems? If so, how often are they tested for vulnerabilities to both internal and external attackers?

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Are your systems PCI-DSS compliant?

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What systems are in place to mitigate the impact of an internal cyber threat?

If you could not confidently answer most of these questions, we recommend re-evaluating your systems and procedures in place to mitigate the eventuality of a cyber threat. We also recommend regularly testing the security of your applications and networks to identify your risks of being affected by a damaging cyber attack.

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