14th March, 2017

Cyber security has always been a major concern for the finance sector. With the extensive use of computers and innovative technology in carrying out financial transactions, hackers are looking for ways to breach the security of the organization’s internal network. Their purpose may be to inject a malware laden code, steal account credentials, perform unauthorized money transfers etc.

In the present times, cyber attacks are not only becoming more sophisticated but also quite hard to detect. Therefore, it is important for the IT professionals to formulate a coherent strategy to protect the financial institution against different forms of online attacks.

Listed below are some of the major cyber security threats to the finance sector:

Data Breach

Security flaws in the computer’s operating system and software applications provide a backdoor for the hackers to gain access to the network. Once successful, they may be able to store customers’ financial information such as credit card numbers, ATM pins, user IDs, passwords etc., even if they are stored in an encrypted format. Lack of proper security measures, unsecure network configuration and reckless data storage practices can make a financial organization vulnerable to data breach.

Spear Phishing And Whaling

In a spear phishing attack, the hackers send out spam emails that have been disguised to have come from a genuine source. The email is usually crafted in a way that the users are tricked into providing sensitive information to the hacker, such as internet banking password or credit card number. Often, these emails create a sense of urgency and contain an embedded link or attachment.

Taking spear phishing a step further, whaling attacks involve sending emails in the name of the executives and CEOs to trick the finance officials into transferring money to fraudulent accounts.

DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is carried out to make a corporate network unavailable to the users. The hackers identify an unpatched vulnerability in the computer to infect it as well as the devices that connect to the system. These computers, also known as bots, are used as a part of the botnet to flood the target system with unauthorized requests, causing it to crash and inaccessible by the genuine users.

For more information on cyber security threats to the finance sector, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.