Cyber-attacks rise alongside tech adoption
(21 March 2020 – United Kingdom) Banks are among most highly targeted sectors for data breaches as new technology broadens the scope for cyber attacks according to a recent International Money Fund (IMF) report.
The IMF report warned that the volume of sensitive information held by banks makes them one of the "most highly targeted economic sectors for data breaches". Risks are amplified by the rise in online activity by businesses and consumers as the number of devices connected into banks, as well as the falling costs of launching cyberattacks.
Financial services vulnerability to cyberattacks has been highlighted by several damaging public incidents, including a recent breach that temporarily paralysed UK-based payments group Travelex. Hackers threatened to sell customer data unless a ransom was paid
New technology has decreased costs as customers moved from branches to online, allowing banks to grow quickly by offering services to new customers beyond their branch network and using big data to understand how they can lend to non-traditional borrowers. But technology also brings its own dangers.
Banks are using technology to reduce risk by creating more sophisticated authentication features including facial and voice recognition, geolocation, and tools that evaluate how a phone is held and how keys are pressed.
“Financial services are becoming increasingly digitalised, broadening the attack surface for possible cyber events” the IMF report stated, urging regulators to monitor cyber risks more carefully.
The worst cyber-attack for a bank is compromised customer data, according to the IMF's Cyber-Risk report co-author, Heedon Kang, creating “an erosion of confidence" he asserts.