Banks under cyber attack 300% more than other industries

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Article by Rebeccah Elley

New analysis by Websense has shown financial institutions are under a constant barrage from cyber criminals, with the volume of attacks 3 times more than what is suffered by other industries.

2015 Industry Drill-Down Report

Carl Leonard, Websense principal security analyst explained that the reason banks were being targeted was simply because that’s where the money is. “For years, this industry has been under attack by highly specialised groups of criminals. By analysing the actions and attack patterns prominent and anomalous to this industry, we can share this knowledge to more effectively protect our customers’ data and assets.”

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The 2015 Industry Drill-Down Report found that regardless of whether the motivation is financial gain, geopolitical, or a combination, threat actors have greater access to hacking tools and potential sponsors than ever before.

Cybercriminals commonly use a technique of keeping up a constant barrage of low-level attacks, otherwise known as ‘white noise’ in an attempt to keep security employees occupied, whilst targeted attacks occur elsewhere.

A popular method cyber attackers use is email, writing to financial employees with a subject line and content that tends to be professional in nature and most frequently involves specifics around invoices, ACH and BACS payments and third-party vendors.

Rajiv Motwani, director of security research at Websense said humans were the weakest link and advised that the financial sector needed to make "elevating the IQ of employees" a priority.

Another report by the ACCC also identified phishing scams, where people were sent credible seeming emails that fooled them into clicking on dodgy links, opening infected documents, or even sending money directly, as a major problem across Australia.

According to the 2015 Travelers Business Risk Index, no less than 80% of leaders in the banking and financial services sector cite cyber risks as a top concern. 

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