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The banking sector has undergone a digital transformation with many transactions taking place over the Internet. As digital banking services have become mainstream, the potential for cyber-attacks has never been greater.

The inherent nature of the banking industry already makes it a prime target for cybersecurity attacks. Knowing the latest in security threats and emerging technologies is essential to protecting your bank’s sensitive information.

Common Cybersecurity Threats and Attacks in the Financial Industry

Cyber threats and attacks evolve every day. Hackers are more cunning, and attacks are more sophisticated than ever before. To protect your financial information, you must know the latest industry threats. These include:

1. Malware Attacks

One of the oldest yet prevalent cyber-attacks is malware. US software developers created the first virus in 1971. With the advent of machine learning and AI, malware technology has come a long way.

However, the attacks remain relatively the same. Malware infects an end-user device where hackers can steal sensitive information and compromise other systems. Without proper security, malware can infiltrate your bank’s network, stealing sensitive financial and customer information.

2. Unsecured Third-Party Providers

Many financial enterprises rely on third-party providers for a wide range of services. Since they handle sensitive business information, a third-party provider’s cybersecurity must adequately address the risks involved. Finding a third-party provider that takes cybersecurity seriously is essential.

3. Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are difficult to deal with because they exploit human behavior. The most common type of social engineering attack is phishing.

With phishing, a hacker tries to manipulate employees into taking an action or sharing compromising information through fake emails, calls, texts, etc. Their goals vary, but often involve infecting your servers with ransomware or gaining access to bank accounts.

4. Spoofing

Like social engineering, spoofing uses manipulation but takes it to the next level. Hackers create fake websites impersonating specific businesses. The goal is to trick customers into submitting personal information on the fake website while thinking they are on the original.

These websites generally use a URL very similar to the original. Spoofing puts both banks and customers at risk, so it is important to educate customers and employees about the risks of fraudulent websites.

Prevailing Trends in Banking Cybersecurity

To better protect themselves from evolving security threats in banking, financial institutions employ the latest cybersecurity technologies and are continuously enhancing their security protocols.

Here is what the banking industry is doing to bolster its cybersecurity:

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Many mobile or online banking services require multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of protection for banks and customers.

Most people never update their password, And when they do, they only make small changes. With MFA, users have to provide additional credentials to garner access. These could include a pin, a security question, a cell phone number, email address, etc. It can even include biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition.

2. Anti-Virus/ Anti-Malware Software

There is a constant battle between software developers who build applications, and hackers who find creative ways to break them. From the firewalls, to the laptops, to the myriad network connected systems, maintaining a strong security posture is an ongoing challenge.

That is why banks must always keep their cybersecurity software updated and perform a thorough security audit when implementing new software.

3. Employee Education

Over 95% of cyber breaches are because of human error. One of the best ways for your cybersecurity measures to be effective is to educate your employees on best practices. They should know how to prevent an attack, spot suspicious activity, and how to respond when an attack occurs.

4. Managed Network Providers

Managing the day-to-day volatility of financial markets with your cybersecurity network can be difficult. Managed network service providers can ensure your network is protected and secure, so you can better manage changing customer demands.

Want to learn more about how VSN is helping the banking industry? Contact us.