The Cyber Security Challenges in Banking



Tinesh Chhaya



14 Sep, 2020


The cyber security sector has come under a lot of stress in the age of Covid. The rise of remote working has played a large role in this, and data and communications now have to be protected over a much larger network as staff must be able to continue working from the safety of their own home.

There’s no sector where this is more acute than banking – here the slightest lapse in cyber security can have massive financial implications. This impact wouldn’t be just on the bank either, as cyber-attacks have stolen from the innocent people who deposited their money with banking institutions.

In such sectors especially, where client and customers are equally gravely affected by any breach, the pressure to provide solid security has never been higher. We have seen successful attacks on the Bank of Ireland lose $125,000 from a client’s account, and then accrue a further $1.66 million in fines for not having proper security in place to begin with. Slightly more fortunately, Banxico, Mexico’s central bank thwarted a cyber attack on their website through lessons learnt from a devastating cyber attack two years earlier that had cost them $15 million.

Data breaches are concerningly common, with phishing and ransomware costing organisations hefty sums of money. Los Angeles based banking app Dave recently had over 7.5 million customer records stolen, which were almost immediately sold on to buyers through the dark web. We do not yet know the financial consequences for Dave, but they have already begun working with CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity consultancy firm, to assist in recovery and to improve for when the next attack inevitable arrives.

CISOs and founders have been forced to act and adapt quickly, as the switch for workers to move to remote working came around extremely quickly. There are many smaller businesses who still have not fully finalised their new cyber security regime, putting them at great risk of falling victim to one of the many new waves of cyber attacks that have appeared in the post-Covid world.

Founders who are not themselves tech-savvy are in the most precarious position, as finding a cyber security solution to perfectly fit a business in a short period of time can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

It might not always seem to be the case, but great cyber security solutions are always out there. Europe and Asia have seen a massive growth in the number of cyber security start-ups over recent years, and each one is combatting cyber attacks in an innovative way. This spans from focussing on the human side of errors leading to breaches and upskilling staff on security, to developing AI in order to automate certain parts of the cyber security process. We have great faith in the innovations being developed around the world in direct response to the new wave of cyber-attacks that are being launched by unscrupulous individuals to profit from the unrest caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The path to finding cyber security solutions is also changing rapidly. In times gone by a business would need to employ one specific person to be charged with finding and updating the cyber security solution of a business. A larger business may well have even employed an entire team of people for this same role. In this new-fangled internet age, however, a business can save thousands with the amount of resources available online, and most of it available for free. Every cyber security solution has a well-designed website outlining their USP and the type of business they would be perfect for.

The amount of information available online is vast, but some would argue that, ironically, it’s almost too much, and becomes a herculean task to uncover the right fit through so much noise. Credible, accurate information is hard to come by and extremely time-consuming to uncover. Specifically, in the world of finance, security professionals absolutely need to see the accreditations associated with each solution – just a company name simply won’t do. Unearthing those extra certifications and credentials adds another layer of time and resources. Directories of cyber security vendors, which a business can search through quickly for the perfect solution, clearly become a godsend for banking folk looking to streamline their efforts and fast.

The world of cyber security is quite a daunting place at the moment. Cases of cyber attacks are higher than ever, both in banking and other sectors, and the funding on offer to combat them seems to be dropping off. We, however, have great faith in the innovators and disruptors working in this field. With the amount of resources on offer, and the amazing expertise of the professionals in the field, we are already seeing a great fight back against the new wave of cyber-attacks. Innovators are developing new, more efficient and easier ways of making good cyber security accessible to businesses of every size and professionals of every field.

We’re confident they’ll do great.

About author:


Tinesh Chhaya


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