No industry in today’s era is immune to cyber threats, but for financial services organizations, the risk has always been significantly greater.
While the motives of cybercriminals may vary, the consequences of their attacks are fairly the same –decreased web performance, compromised data assets, delays in fundamental business processes, redirected funds, and tarnished reputations.
As banks and FinTech firms have long been a core target for malicious online threat actors, the global pandemic has created much more complexity within the cybersecurity threat landscape. The rise of fake domains, phishing scams, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, and misinformation has led to an upsurge in the cyberattacks across industries. Admittedly, most of these have been directed towards financial institutions and banks.
Despite cybersecurity being the top priority for the industry before the pandemic, the urgency to address new threats is higher than ever imagined. Successfully neutralizing potentially destructive attacks in a constantly evolving environment, needs swift action and detection. This means deploying integrated, always-on, and automated defenses.
With the pandemic accelerating the need to become digital-first, Fintech firms have been impacted in two fundamental ways. From the network perspective, organizations have to act quickly to solve issues associated with network outrage and redirection caused by the mass movement to remote working. Simultaneously, they have also been tested to mitigate elevated threats such as account hacking, credential stuffing, and fraudulent emails.
As the number of cyberattacks in the industry has soared, the Financial Conduct Authority issued a statement calling for institutions to pay closer attention to information security throughout the pandemic. The regulator highlighted the need for organizations to deploy advanced monitoring to guard endpoints, information, and critical processes such as network connections.
But this is not to say the Fintech industry lags behind others in cybersecurity. In fact, banks and financial organizations have invested millions of dollars in developing advanced cybersecurity capabilities, including DDoS mitigation services implementation. However, by failing to incorporate security platforms and due to excessive dependence on manual processes, a vast majority of firms continue to subject themselves to the risk of malicious actors.
An informed response
By taking an ‘always-on’, integrated and automated approach to cybersecurity, organizations can monitor cyber in threats real-time to glean immediate insights about the attack. This encompasses understanding where the attack has come from, and the level of risk associated with the IP address to gain access to the location and network, along with the VPN/proxy status of anonymous traffic.
As a part of a stout security strategy, an authoritative DNS architecture is a necessity – one that delivers accurate and rapid query responses to websites and critical online assets. All of this, coupled with 24×7 defenses and detection across networks and applications, allows FS firms to confidently evaluate risk.
This approach is not only effective at stopping and anticipating malicious actors infiltrating the systems, but it is also a key factor for aiding security leaders to decide on access rights. Integration of additional threat intelligence data provides enterprises with high-quality data, generating higher levels of security overall.
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As firms from every industry adapt their security defenses to mirror the new remote working life, deploying always-on, intelligent protection is vital. Now is the time the financial sector gets the security landscape right and that cannot be an option anymore.