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    FEATURED STORY OF THE WEEK

    The Top 2022 Cybersecurity Trends in Banking and Finance

    Written by :
    Team Uvation
    | 7 minute read
    |April 6, 2022 |
    Industry : financial-services
    The Top 2022 Cybersecurity Trends in Banking and Finance

    As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, banks and financial institutions become more
    desirable and vulnerable targets for cybercriminals leveraging ever more sophisticated capabilities.
    These bad actors are attracted to banks and financial institutions because of the large sums of money
    they handle and the valuable personal and institutional data they store. As a result, cybersecurity must
    become a top strategic priority for these organizations.

     

    Even cryptocurrency firms, touted for their inherent safety against bad actors, have had to increase their
    cybersecurity efforts in recent years as the value of Bitcoin and other digital assets has skyrocketed.
    “Cyber criminals appear to be flocking to cryptocurrency exchanges, which have experienced a twofold
    increase in the number of attacks in recent months,” The Economic Times reported in November 2021.

     

    To stay ahead of the latest threats and protect their customers—as well as their own systems and
    data—financial companies of all kinds must become vigilant of the latest cybersecurity trends. This
    article explores the latest such trends in the industry, including emerging threats as well as cybersecurity
    solutions and best practices that can help banking and financial institutions (FIs) defend themselves. We
    also provide advice for financial leaders hoping to improve their security postures in 2022 and beyond.

     

    The Evolution of Cybersecurity in the Banking & Finance Sector

     

    The financial cybersecurity landscape has changed significantly over the last decade. In 2012, the
    majority of cyberattacks were aimed at stealing information such as credit card numbers, PINs, and
    passwords. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards more destructive attacks that aim to
    cripple businesses and disrupt operations, as indicated by a historical industry timeline provided by the
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

     

    These attacks have become more sophisticated over time as well, and they show no signs of slowing
    down. In fact, the banking industry witnessed a 1318% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021, Security
    Magazine reports, where “Cybercriminals see the large payouts, and it encourages them to strike more
    often, and at larger, more lucrative targets.”

     

    The Emergence of State-Sponsored Attacks

     

    Attacks on FIs are increasingly carried out by state-sponsored attackers as well. In the past, most
    cybersecurity attacks against banks and financial institutions were carried out by organized crime
    groups. The rise in state-sponsored attacks on FIs has emerged as financial disruptions increasingly
    impact global geopolitical conditions.

     

    State-sponsored attacks are initiated and often financed political or government bodies, in this case to
    disrupt or steal financial data and assets. These attacks are often more sophisticated than those carried
    out by criminal groups, and they can be very difficult to defend against. In addition, state-sponsored
    attackers are often well-funded and have access to sophisticated tools and malware.

     

    Vulnerabilities in the Cryptocurrency Space

     

    Even cryptocurrency firms are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In fact, in January 2018, Coincheck, a
    Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked and $530 million worth of digital currencies were stolen.
    As more people invest in cryptocurrencies, criminals are likely to target this sector with increasing
    frequency. Recent investigations have proven it’s possible for bad actors to “steal crypto wallets of users
    by leveraging critical security,” World Economic Forum reports, where “in 2022, we can expect to see an
    increase in cryptocurrency related attacks.”

     

    Cybersecurity and the Evolution of Work

     

    The way people work is changing, which is also impacting cybersecurity at banks and other financial
    institutions. Increasingly, employees are working from home or using mobile devices to access corporate
    data. This increases the risk of a data breach, as it becomes more difficult to track who is accessing
    sensitive information and what they are doing with it. In addition, mobile devices are more vulnerable to
    malware and ransomware attacks than traditional desktop computers.

     

    Now, the greatest cyber threats to banks and financial institutions are growing in their variety. Some of
    the most common methods of attack remain a challenge, including phishing attacks, business email
    compromise (BEC), malware or ransomware, cloud security vulnerabilities, and insider threats, among
    others. But bad actors will increasingly adopt AI-driven methods to engage in criminal activity as well, in
    largely unpredictable ways.

     

    Emerging Cybersecurity Solutions and Best Practices

     

     

    Banks and financial institutions must be proactive about cybersecurity to stay ahead of the curve.
    Fortunately, there are emerging best practices that banks and financial institutions can use to protect
    themselves from cybercrime.

     

    There are a several key steps internal stakeholders and organizational leaders at banks and financial
    institutions can take to improve their cyber security postures in the long term. First, they should make
    cybersecurity a priority for the organization by incorporating it into their overall business strategy.
    Successful cybersecurity starts with organizational leadership, where the board and C-suite are bought
    into the cybersecurity program.

     

    From there, a risk management approach should be taken to identify high value assets and prioritize
    protection efforts around those assets. Successful risk management involves banks and financial
    institutions should focus on implementing technologies and solutions that modern threats demand,
    including:

     

     Multi-factor authentication: FIs should implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all user
    accounts, especially for high-privileged users. This adds an extra layer of security and makes it
    more difficult for bad actors to gain access to critical systems.

     

    ● User activity monitoring: FIs can use user activity monitoring (UAM) solutions to detect
    malicious or unusual activity on their networks. UAM can help identify potential threats early,
    allowing security teams to act before serious damage is done.

     

     Data encryption: FIs can encrypt all sensitive data, both at rest and in transit. This makes it
    much more difficult for cyber criminals to access or steal data.

     

     Data loss prevention (DLP): A DLP solution can help FIs identify, monitor, and protect sensitive
    data; it can prevent data breaches by detecting and blocking the unauthorized use of that data
    as well.

     

     Threat intelligence feeds: Subscribe to threat intelligence feeds from reputable cybersecurity
    vendors or service providers. This can help you stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity
    threats and trends

     

    ● Cyber insurance: FIs should invest in cybersecurity insurance to financially protect their
    organizations in the event of a successful cyberattack.

     

    Additionally, they should develop cybersecurity awareness training programs for their employees and
    enforce strong password policies. CISOs and other security leaders can teach employees how to spot a
    phishing email or social engineering attack, for example. They can hold regular cybersecurity awareness
    training sessions and make sure employees know how to report suspicious activity as well.

     

    Many of the new strategic measures listed above are not possible without complete participation of
    employees throughout the organization—a prerequisite too many organizations overlook until it is too
    late. Disseminating practical information about cybersecurity is a straightforward way to prevent human
    ignorance or error from creating new risks.

     

    Aligning Security with Business Value

     

    By making cybersecurity a priority for the organization and investing in technologies and training
    programs, FIs can improve their cybersecurity posture in the long term. But it’s critical CISOs and other
    cybersecurity leaders make clear the connection between cybersecurity and business value for these
    principles to take hold.

     

    Cybersecurity is a business initiative characterized by operational, talent, and capital investments. It is
    no less critical than the financial tools and talent FIs employ for daily operations. The sooner business
    and security leaders communicate effectively on this subject, the sooner FIs can establish their
    cybersecurity on the right footing.

     

    Partner with Uvation as You Begin Your Cybersecurity Transformation

     

    If you are interested in identifying and launching successful cybersecurity methodologies at your own
    organization, Uvation can help. Contact one of our cybersecurity experts for a free consultation today.

     

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