The bling attracts the most attention, and the finance sector is the biggest bling for cyber threat actors. That is the reason why the global finance industry has been on the receiving end of the most evasive and destructive cyber attacks in history. From the February 2016 attack on the central bank of Bangladesh to the most recent April 17, 2023, cryptocurrency heist on Beanstalk Farms, the attacks have been nonstop.
So what makes the global finance industry one of the most targeted industries? That is what we will try to uncover in this blog. Along with looking at the most elaborate cyber attacks that hit finance companies and what should be done to reduce these malicious attempts. Let’s begin by going over the list of the biggest-ever attacks on the finance industry.
Most Extensive Data Breaches in the Finance Sector
According to the statistics, the list of all registered cyber attacks in the finance industry is so long that it would take days to assemble it. But here we have a list of the data breaches that were unforgettable.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Data Breach
Impact: 83 million accounts were impacted
- Heartland Payment Systems Data Breach
Impact: 130 million debit and credit card numbers were stolen
- First American Financial Corp. Data Breach
Impact: 885 million credit card applications data was stolen
- Equifax Data Breach
Impact: 147 million customers’ data was leaked
- Capital One Data Breach
Impact: 100 million credit card applications were published online
- Experian Data Breach
Impact: 24 million customers and 800,000 businesses were affected
- Westpac Banking Corporation Data Breach
Impact: The banking details of 98,000 customers were stolen
- Flagstar Bank Data Breach
Impact: The social security numbers of 1.5 million customers were compromised
- Bangladesh Bank Heist
Impact: $81 million lost
- Beanstalk Farms Cryptocurrency Heist
Impact: lost $180 million
What Makes the Finance Sector a Perfect Target for Threat Actors?
The way we see it, cyber criminals always choose their targets based on a simple calculation: maximum impact and maximum profit. And the global finance industry fits like a glove in this equation. No matter how big or small a finance company is, it always has a great deal of sensitive data like personal information, financial transactions, confidential business information, etc. This information can either be held hostage in exchange for a ransom or sold on the dark web for a lot of money. Apart from being used for malicious actions like identity theft, financial fraud, and other criminal activities. So the first and foremost reason that attracts these malicious actors to the finance industry is the obvious profit that could be made at the industry’s expense.
The next big allure is the huge impact that this industry has on the smooth processing of global affairs. Financial institutions are the core of the global economy, making them an attractive target for those seeking to disrupt the financial system. Cyber criminals target financial companies or institutions in an attempt to disrupt and create chaos. This in turn triggers financial losses or helps these criminal minds manipulate markets for their monetary gain.
An International Strategy To Mitigating Threats Is Needed
The problem is of a global nature and thus requires a global solution. All the major and minor industry leaders need to come together and devise a united plan to fight the common threat. We feel that a strategic approach to addressing cyber threats in the international financial system is long overdue. This approach can be centred around these four factors, namely:
- Greater clarity about roles and responsibilities is required among financial authorities, law enforcement, diplomats, relevant government actors, and industry.
- International collaboration is necessary and urgent, as individual entities cannot effectively protect themselves against cyber threats alone.
- Reducing fragmentation will free up capacity to tackle the problem, as many initiatives remain siloed and some efforts duplicate each other.
- Protecting the international financial system can be a model for other sectors, and focusing on the financial sector provides a starting point for better protection of other sectors in the future.
We also believe that to eliminate threats to the finance sector, institutions must prioritise cyber security and invest in robust security measures. This includes implementing multi-factor authentication, encryption, and monitoring systems to detect and respond to threats. Financial institutions should also seriously consider investing in employee training to educate their staff about cyber security. It can involve educating people about things like cyber security best practices, such as avoiding suspicious emails and websites, using strong passwords, and reporting any suspicious activity.
A final word would be that financial institutions have to remain vigilant and invest in robust cyber security measures to combat cyber threats. This is where we come in. GoAllSecure can handle all your cyber security-related issues, from securing software, hardware, and transactional data to ensuring that you have the trust of your customers and partners. As your trusted cyber security partner, we’ll give you the confidence to stand tall by creating a strong base of solid security and compliance. For more information about us, kindly visit us at https://www.goallsecure.com/ or call on +91 85 2723 7851 or +44 20 3290 4885.