Attacks On Financial Services Are Increasingly Sophisticated

Phishing attacks, in which carefully targeted digital messages are transmitted to fool people into clicking on a link that can then install malware or expose sensitive data, are becoming more sophisticated, but the other main reason UK businesses are ‘up at night’ in terms of cyber security is because of untrained and malicious users. 

IT security has become more highly prioritised by organisations, due in some cases to increased threats and in other cases, tougher legislation and cyber attacks were found to be the joint second most cited risk to the stability of the UK financial system in a recent survey by the Bank of England.

Maintaining organisational security against cyber threats is a unique challenge of trying to hit an always moving target with a Tool kit that’s trying to keep up. Cyber criminals are focused on the targeted game; identifying specific industry verticals, organisations, and even individuals, and devising tailored scams and attacks to maximise success.

In addition, there are notable increases in frequency, sophistication, and scope of ransomware, phishing, business email compromise, and malware attacks.
 
Ransomware has grown to include data theft and extortion to increase the chances of successful attack. The use of deepfake audio is now being used to trick users over the ‘phone, and attackers are no longer satisfied with raking in thousands of dollars when millions are plausible.

The challenge for Information Security leaders is to establish and maintain a layered security strategy that protects the organisation and its users. But the ever-changing landscape of threats, attacks, and malware has some of them deeply worried.

Ransomware, phishing, business email compromise, and malware attacks are becoming greater in frequency, sophistication and scope.

As for compliance with data and related security regulations, the survey of some 200 UK organisations found US-based regulations HIPAA and SOX that have both been around for decades appear to be as much an issue for UK firms as newer regulations, such as the 2018 GDPR Which is the EU-wide new data protection law.

Almost every initial attack vector, emails, links, attachments, webpages, requires the interaction of a user, whether malicious and either negligent or unwitting.

As the survey put it, the executive management of UK firms is more concerned with strategy and any business disruption that may keep those initiatives from succeeding, while IT professionals generally concern themselves with a more tactical perspective around keeping the business running; hence by and large, IT staff concerns are misaligned with those of their executives.

Bank of England:     Professional Security:     KnowB4:         ITProportal:

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