According to a report by Carbon Black, a cloud-based cybersecurity company that is now part of VMware, 70 percent of financial firms have been involved in some type of cybersecurity incident or attack in the past 12 months.
What’s worse: many of the firms that belong to the “safe” 30 percent have been also victims but they haven’t noticed it just yet.
Financial firms are a highly attractive target for many cybercriminals looking for a profit. Companies in the sector manage sensitive information that can lead to serious gains. Therefore, these firms should prioritize cybersecurity and the preventive methods it offers to protect their data.
In the following lines, we’ll address some of the biggest threats financial firms face today.
Cybersecurity Awareness and Late Detection
The biggest threat comes from within and it is the lack of awareness that most financial firms have regarding cybersecurity. We are not talking about untrained workers (we’ll address that point later) but the negligence coming from people in charge.
Financial firms focus on financial products and services, leaving aside other highly-relevant aspects as IT and security. This lack of cybersecurity awareness can quickly lead to serious issues. One of those issues is late detection. Many firms notice the attack months after it has taken place. By that moment, cybercriminals have stolen key data and placed the company in jeopardy.
Now it’s time to talk about a problem that not only financial firms suffer and that is the lack of proper training among the workforce. This applies to both cybersecurity affairs and general IT knowledge.
Many professionals give irresponsible use to their devices and behave erratically online. This can lead quickly to serious problems for the organization. Because of this, financial firms must invest in proper training for the staff, making them more capable of managing data safely.
Increased Amount of Devices at the Workplace
The number of devices we use daily is increasing and this supposes a problem for financial firms. Workers bring their smartphones, smartwatches, and other devices with Internet capabilities to the workplace, connecting them to the local networks and opening a huge door for cybercriminals to step in.
It can be healthy for financial firms to have policies regarding the use of personal devices at the workplace. Their presence (and having them connected to the business network) can be a serious liability for the entire organization. Therefore, addressing this issue can be a good idea to prevent problems in the future.
Lack of 2FA Mechanisms
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is one of the most powerful tools that modern cybersecurity gives to individuals and organizations. 2FA forces the user to go through a highly-secure authentication mechanism that involves several devices and additional information that certifies the identity of the user and his clearance before granting any access.
Right now, companies (including financial firms) are slowly implementing 2FA in their infrastructures. This is not enough in 2019. All organizations must have 2FA mechanisms in place to prevent breaches. Relying on single-layer security mechanisms is a terrible idea nowadays.
If you need help to protect your financial firm, please, get in contact with the My IT Guy team. We’ll be happy to inform you further.