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When Banks Meet Breaches

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Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015

The financial sector was one of the first targeted by industry-specific cyber- attack techniques. So far this year the banking, credit and financial services industry has seen at least 60 breaches and more than five million records compromised according to the Identity Resource Theft Center* Recently, the United States and Britain announced that the two countries would hold a joint exercise later this month to test IT resiliency and cyber security communication and coordination efforts between regulators of New York and London’s financial institutions.

The desire to ensure that the two largest global financial centers have the capability to quickly resolve an IT crisis and communicate not just among themselves, but to relevant governments and authorities is paramount. As cited in the 2015 Raytheon|Websense industry drill-down report on financial services, the sector is often targeted by threat actors. However, because businesses in financial services must maintain a real-time connection to the global economy to function properly, an attack that impacts this ability has the potential to cripple economies, impacting stock markets, businesses, and consumers alike.  Ironically, the very security precautions –patching servers with known vulnerabilities, for instance -  that might protect banks and other organizations can also disrupt vital communications between these entities if those in the chain have not also upgraded their systems.

How severe and complex are the cybersecurity attacks targeting financial services? In its report analyzing the volumes and attack techniques from January through May 2015, Raytheon|Websense found that financial services encounters security incidents 300 percent more frequently than other industries and are targeted by 33 percent of all lure stage attacks.

But that’s only the beginning. By comparing cyber-attack data across the industry, Raytheon|Websense Labs gained several unique and specific insights into attack patterns directed toward the financial services sector.  Read about them all here.

*Identity Theft Resource Center, Data Breaches 2015, Breach Reports, 10/27/2015

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