The threats to financial data security are growing up just as rapidly as cybercriminals are polishing their skills. These challenges are most likely to face every online business

Cybercrime problems touch upon every business on the web. The rise of cybercrime rates in recent years is indicative of cyber gangs’ growing power. They keep up with businesses adopting technology quickly. But while entrepreneurs do it with a view to gaining competitive advantage, cybercriminals aim to become even less visible and reachable online.

The risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack is always high. The distribution of malware has made it hard for everyone to stay away from cyber threats. Some industries are even more preferred by hackers than others. The financial sector is leading in the number of threats and financial damages incurred on organizations. Financial data is most appealing to hack as they give direct access to user credentials which is the end goal of most cybercriminals.

These are the most common financial data security threats facing banks and financial institutions across the world.

  1. Web Application Attacks

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a convenient form of interacting with customers. Many eCommerce businesses opt for PWAs as they allow for fast data processing. Their system is complex, but it does not make them less vulnerable to cyber threats. On the contrary, their appeal lies indirect access to tons of personal and financial information collected through login and submit forms. PWAs are most often subject to SQL Injection and XSS attacks. The typical vulnerabilities in web apps are ports 80 and 443 that remain constantly open for traffic and scripts if they are not secured properly.

Defense: Use Web Application Firewall (WAF) and run regular security audits to make sure your WAP has no weaknesses.

  1. DDoS Attacks

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to destroy a service, network, or server by creating an intense traffic with external multiple sources. The DDoS attack usually results in a customer’s inability to access and use a web source, which eventually leads to financial losses to finance companies. One in three server downtimes is a result of DDoS attacks. Their popularity with cybercriminals is explained by a low price (for example, a one-week downtime will cost around $150). However, one DDoS attack can cost their organizations up to $50,000.

Defense: Use blackhole routing tools intended for filtering network traffic and defending your site or server.

  1. Phishing

Phishing is a cyberattack that is meant to push a user into clicking a malicious link that gives cybercriminals access to users’ confidential data. It is commonly used to cause data breaches and accounts for over 45% of all data breaches occurring on the web. Moreover, financial services make up 35% of all data breaches. In 2019, a large-scale phishing campaign touched on US credit unions during which the nation’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) staff received personalized emails with a PDF file containing an infected link. The effectiveness of phishing comes from users’ cyber-illiteracy. Should employees working in banking and finance organizations receive relevant training on data security threats and ways to recognize them online, the odds of getting infected with malware go down sharply.

Defense: Use multi-factor authentication and anti-phishing software to detect scams.

  1. Third-Fourth-Fifth Party Vendors

While it is of utmost importance that your business is protected from data security threats, it is still vital to ensure that your third-party vendors are on the same page with you in terms of combating cybersecurity threats. This does not necessarily mean that you need to control the way they prevent intruders from stealing valuable data but rather to make sure that your partners have a high level of protection before signing a contract with them. If you have already invested in firewalls for Internet connection, secured your networks, or actively use artificial intelligence in business to prevent data leakage due to a human error, there is the mere possibility for cybercriminals to affect your business via your partners’ vulnerabilities.

Defense: Blockchain smart contracts that let you avoid third-party dependencies 

How to stay safe online

Hackers attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times a day. Being intact by now is not a safeguard of data invulnerability. The most protected companies have a strong emphasis on data security and implement security practices to defend against the dark side of the Internet. Some of the reasons why so many small and medium businesses are often hardest hit by cyber gangs include the lack of cybersecurity assessment. Many companies save on cybersecurity budgeting, but the price of a cyber-attack is way too higher than that of any data security measure or tool. Companies with on-site data security specialists are at a lesser risk of fraud as they can monitor their cybersecurity risks continuously and have more time to respond to cyber threats if they happen to face one online. At last, any business should always have a risk management plan in place to define your potential protective actions in case cybercriminals succeed in gaining control over their data and information.

About the author:

Kyle McDermott is a web developer, blogger, blockchain enthusiast, and business analyst. He loves to write about new technologies, business news, and sports events. Kyle is also a proofreader at Computools. Follow him on Twitter.

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