New Report: Cyber Threat Landscape for Banking & Financial Services in 2019

It’s no secret that banks and financial services organizations face an onslaught of cyber threats. Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate corporate defense networks and gain access to financial assets, customer information, sensitive records, and corporate credentials. Cyber fraud has also created a whole new set of challenges, as this activity often takes place on external channels, like retail sites and social media channels. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks disrupt web traffic, rendering banks and financial service institutions incapable of fulfilling the services they provided to their customers.

To help paint an accurate picture of the challenges financial organizations must overcome to ensure security, IntSights has released the Banking & Financial Services Cyber Threat LandScape Report (April 2019). We analyzed data collected in our threat intelligence platform to identify noteworthy cyber threat trends, patterns, outliers, and developments. Threat researchers analyzed the most significant action in attack types, attack vectors, and regional trends facing these organizations, and offer commentary on best practices to defend against the latest trends and attack vectors.

The following are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Banks and financial services organizations were targeted in 25.7 percent of all malware attacks last year, more than any of the other 27 industries we tracked.
  • In 2019 Q1, we saw a 212 percent year-over-year increase in instances of compromised credit cards.
  • We saw a 129 percent year-over-year increase in credential leaks as a result of the Collection #1 leak (more on Collection #1 later).
  • We observed a 102 percent year-over-year increase in malicious applications, including fraudulent mobile banking apps.
  • Hacker hub Altenen.com was taken down in May 2018 after Israeli authorities arrested the site’s manager. It was estimated that Altenen had facilitated fraud for over 20,000 credit cards and $31 million in money laundering. This large-scale shutdown left cybercriminals scrambling for several months until a new site, Altenen.nz, emerged.
  • For the first time, cybercriminals publicly exposed flaws in SS7, a protocol used by telecommunication companies to coordinate SMS routing, to intercept messages that authorize payments from accounts.
  • Financial organizations based in developing countries – namely in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia – were attacked more frequently because many lack the external-facing security systems that are common in more developed regions of the world.

Download your copy of the full report to gain exclusive insights on the state of the cyber threat landscape in the banking and financial services industry.

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