It’s not surprising that the financial services industry have been one of the most targeted industries for cyber attacks—hackers are often just following the money. In our first Data at Risk post about the vulnerability of the financial services industry, we found that this industry is 300% more likely to suffer a data breach.
However, we’re seeing a lot of attacks on the soft targets of retail and healthcare—but that doesn’t mean financial institutions can rest easy.
Despite the fact that financial services organizations are already heavily targeted by hackers, a recent survey shows that the finance industry has even more to worry about—its emerging connections to adjacent industries.
New Trends Will Affect Security in the Finance Industry
In years past, the finance industry was consistently rated as one of the most vulnerable to cyber attacks. However, the recent FICO survey found that retail (38%) and the telecommunications (35%) industries were truly most vulnerable.
One main reason why cyber attacks are shifting away from the financial services industry is the heavy regulatory demands on companies in this sector. Financial organizations have rigorous cyber security guidelines to comply with, leaving cyber attackers to move on to retail and telecom because they currently don’t have as many requirements for companies. This leaves a pool of soft targets that will lead to financial industry threats.
"Rapid internet and mobile penetration have seen many industries grow their online capabilities to include payments, online applications and account management services, yet many organizations only have basic security in place," said FICO head of global fraud consulting, Raed Taji.
With the rise of mobile payment solutions, cyber attacks on retail giants like Target will no longer have a singular effect. Sophisticated hackers will be able to take their attack from the retail industry and use compromised mobile payment applications to access the cash cows in the financial services industry.
Mobile payment players would have you believe their services are perfectly safe, but Samsung has already experienced an attack on their payment solution—how long will it be before mobile payments are a part of a major breach? Unfortunately, the degree of separation between cyber attacks and the financial services organizations they can affect cannot be solved by just deploying more security appliances. FICO makes a point of detailing the greater security measures that financial services institutions must implement.
Defending Increasingly Distributed Enterprise Networks
Mobile payments are only one trend that are spreading enterprise networks wider than ever before. However, as network connectivity becomes more distributed, financial services institutions must find more effective ways of defending themselves.
The FICO survey found that almost 25% of respondents thought poor employee security awareness was the top factor for the increasing effect of adjacent cyber threats on financial organizations. This isn’t a problem with your security appliances—it’s a problem with your visibility plane and employee education.
Many enterprise employees aren’t security savvy enough to spot potential cyber threats—let alone when they aren’t provided the proper network visibility. Decision makers must give security professionals every opportunity to stay ahead of cyber attacks especially as adjacent industries become more of a factor in the threat landscape.
The only solution designed to provide every bit, byte and packet® of network traffic to security and monitoring appliances and applications is a network TAP. By designing your network with the proper connectivity, you can ensure 100% visibility and help employees see suspicious activity as it occurs in the distributed network. Remember, the tools are only as good as the data it sees.
Download the free Garland Technology white paper to learn more about how you can create a real visibility plane for your networking and security professionals—Maximizing Visibility: Understanding the Role of Network TAPs, Packet Brokers and Hybrid Solutions