Banks and financial institutions continue to improve the customer experience with technology-powered innovation. However these improvements come with major concerns and threats of cyber-security. Internet-based and mobile-banking services have presented new opportunities for cyber criminals to infiltrate and gain access. Phishing, sophisticated malware and other fraudulent activities require new security measures.

Traditional security measures such as next-generation firewalls and other reactive strategies cannot combat these new breeds of attack. Solutions that enable institutions to adjust their security controls to keep pace with the ever-changing and evolving threats are required. Focus is now on the protection of the application, the enforcement of encryption with secure back-up protocols, and the protection of user identity.

Malware is one of the preferred forms of cyber-attack. Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2011 reveals that there are five malware events every second in the world. An integrated approach of complementary security technologies provides the best protection of data including customer identities and transactions. Data protection is the best prevention.

Approximately 120 million new types of malware are identified each month[1]. The rise in popularity of mobile banking has attracted the attention of cyber-criminals and mobile malware is on the increase. Mobile malwares break into a mobile device through a social engineering campaign using text messages. Once it has wormed its way into a device, it looks for apps from financial institutions.

Financial institutions and banks are combating this with the uptake of mobile wallet technology that creates a digital version of a traditional wallet. Education and training programs to increase customer awareness of security risks are also helping to mitigate today’s threats.

More than 50% of cyberattacks are against financial institutions[2]. The risk of breaching compliance standards in the protection of customer information is a real threat. A security breach compromises reputation, potentially resulting in loss of share value and market confidence, and ultimately bottom line profit. Competitive edge can be jeopardised by loss of financial and intellectual property. System inoperability caused by a breach can result in the inability to execute trades and access information. To combat all these risks, the Finance sector is taking a vigilant and vigorous approach to cyber-security.

[1]Webroot 2015, SMB Threat Report

[2] Webroot 2015, SMB Threat Report


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