Banks and Financial Services Facing an Increase in Cyber Crime

The Danger Facing Banks and Financial Services

In today’s business world, it pays to embrace digital solutions. They give you the power to work remotely, scale your operations, collaborate on projects, and much more. However, there is a drawback; the more a business relies on technology, the more at risk they are of falling victim to a cyber attack. While the business world is no stranger to cyber threats, the financial industry is specifically seeing a troubling rise in cyber crime these days.

Regardless of the size or nature of a company, all businesses are under the constant threat of cyber crime. However, that doesn’t mean the level of risk is the same across the board. Due to the large amount of sensitive data financial institutions possess, they tend to be high-value targets for hackers.

At one time, all that was needed to keep cyber threats at bay were a few standard cybersecurity measures like installing a firewall and antivirus software. Unfortunately, the playing field has changed drastically since then. Every year, cyber threats not only increase in number, but they also grow in sophistication. As a result, we’ve seen a number of banks and other companies in the financial sector suffer high profile data breaches.

The Most Infamous Cyber Attacks Against Financial Services in Recent History

The danger cyber crime poses can’t be overstated. There’s been over two million complaints to the FBI and over $13 billion in monetary losses in the last five years, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Some of the most notable cases have been financial organizations. 

Cyber attacks against the financial industry have become so common that we hardly flinch at the news anymore. However, there are certain incidents that still manage to grab our attention. Here are just a few of the most infamous security breaches that have affected banks and other financial services.

  • Capital One: In July 2019, Capital One discovered they had been hacked. From their investigation, they learned that close to 106 million Capital One Capital Card customer applications and active accounts were compromised. The criminal managed to access social security numbers and 80,000 linked bank accounts in just the United States alone.
    • How It Happened: A Capital One employee accessed the company servers using a misconfigured web application firewall. 
  • First American Financial: First American Financial suffered a major attack only a couple of months before the Capital One data breach. The attack happened in May 2019 and exposed approximately 885 million financial and personal records. The records were left unsecured and available for anyone to read.
    • How It Happened: The attacker used a piece of code known as a “business logic flaw.” This is a part of a legitimate workflow, but it can be used for malicious purposes.
  • Equifax: In September 2017, Equifax had the names, social security numbers, birthdates, telephone numbers, and email addresses of 143 million accounts exposed. The hackers also stole over 209,000 credit card numbers. While some other breaches affected more people, the level of sensitivity of the data stolen is what punctuates this cyber attack. The company was forced to pay up to $700 million in fines.
    • How It Happened: In this case, the hacker exploited a vulnerability in Apache Struts, an open-sourced tool with plug-in support.

Secure Your Business With Meriplex

In addition to understanding the threats facing your company, you need a robust cybersecurity framework to keep your network and business safe. Meriplex managed cybersecurity services provide the toughest defense against cyber threats. With us by your side, you can rest easy knowing your infrastructure is protected.