6 Most Common Cyber Security Threats To Financial Sector

There is no doubt that financial services are constantly evolving to deliver the most advanced online solutions both for consumers and businesses. But unfortunately, these advancements have made our transactions more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. While the industry has tried to minimize the damage caused by these attacks, they remain a significant threat for users and businesses alike.

Some biggest cyber-security threats for financial services include:

  1. Phishing
  2. Ransomware
  3. SQL Injections, Local File Inclusion, Cross-Site Scripting, and OGNL Java Injections
  4. DDoS Attacks
  5. Supply Chain Attacks
  6. Bank Drops

Let’s take a closer look at each of these cyber-security risks.

1. Phishing

It is one of the most common attack vectors used by cybercriminals for stealing banking information.

It can be online credentials or credit card details directly from users’ end-point devices or transferring funds through fraudulent e-mail communication requests that pose to be sent by legitimate financial institutions (like banks). Financial services clients are tricked into opening an email attachment that installs malware on their systems that send out further phishing emails.

2. Ransomware

This malware cyber-attack encrypts the system’s data and demands a ransom to let users reaccess their systems. Attackers usually demand payments in bitcoins for decryption keys, making it extremely tough to track them down.

3. SQL Injections, Local File Inclusions, Cross-Site Scripting, and OGNL Java Injections

These attacks are used along with phishing scams for installing backdoors on compromised systems, allowing attackers to steal resources remotely under users’ identities when they log in at a later point of time without their knowledge or permission to use them for illegal activities like money laundering, etc.

4. DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service attacks takes down legitimate websites or services by sending numerous requests from different sources simultaneously, which overwhelms the server and makes it unresponsive even to legitimate traffic.

DDoS attacks are prevalent in the financial sector as attackers target their servers to influence business communications, steal confidential data, influence stock exchange rates, etc.

Cyber Security, Phishing, E-Mail, Network Security, Computer Hacker, Cloud Computing, Ransomware

5. Supply Chain Attacks

These threats are usually targeted at financial institutions that have outsourced their operations for improving productivity and efficiency but end up having security breaches due to a lack of proper vetting processes at vendors’ end.

For example, if a corporation had hired an external vendor to build its online retail system only to have malware installed on its systems through insecure practices by this third party, it further allowed cybercriminals to steal over credit card numbers from its end-point systems.

6. Bank Drops

These are some of the most innovative forms of phishing scams used to steal a large number of banking credentials at a single go, including financial institutions’ online portals, ATM cards, passwords, etc.

It is from unsuspecting users storing them in their drop boxes which further allows attackers to directly access these accounts from ATMs or other devices as soon as they get physical access to the device. Users trust the banks only to be cheated by cybercriminals who trick them into putting their valuable information in these boxes where hackers can easily access it.

How to Defend Against Financial Industry Cyber Threats?

If your organization faces any of the above-mentioned cyber risks, then contact an expert IT security consulting company for help. Also, please keep reading to check our possible solutions to cyber resilience. Some of Cyber Security Threats To Financial Sector include:

1. Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM)

Third-party risk management is essential for organizations that work with financial service providers. By assessing and managing the risks associated with working with these third-party vendors, you can help protect your organization from cyberattacks and will have fewer cyber security concerns about the sensitive data breach.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is another crucial defense against financial services cyber threats. This security measure requires users to provide multiple forms of identification. Such as a password and a security token, to log in to their accounts.

3. Attack Surface Management

Attack surface management is another important way to defend against financial services cyber threats. By reducing the number of attack vectors, you can make it more difficult for cybercriminals to expose your network and steal customer data.

4. Firewall

A firewall is a vital line of defense against financial services cyber threats, as it helps protect your network from outside attacks. To maximize the effectiveness of this security layer, you should regularly update its rule-set with new information. It is about known online threats so that it can block these risks when they show up on your network.

An abstract design of a terminal display, warning about a cyber attack. Multiple rows of hexadecimal code are interrupted by red glowing warnings and single character exclamation marks. The image can represent a variety of threats in the digital world: data theft, data leak, security breach, intrusion, anti-virus failure, etc...


1. Is TPRM Essential For All Organizations? Is There An Implicit Requirement Of Practicing TPRM?

There is no implicit (or explicit) requirement to practice TPRM. However, if the organization works with third-party providers or services, then TPRM is essential for protecting the organization against financial services sector cyber threats.

2. Under What Circumstances Should An Organization Practice Multi-Factor Authentication?

One should practice multi-factor authentication practice if the organization wants to reduce the risk of attacks on its network (and customer data). The multiple forms of identification required by this security measure make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access user accounts of financial services companies.

3. What Are Some Benefits Of Using Attack Surface Management To Defend Against Financial Services Firms’ Cyber Threats?

Attack surface management can help reduce the number of attack vectors (or entry points). Hence, making it more difficult for hackers to expose your network and steal customer data.

4. What Are Some Benefits Of Using Firewalls To Defend Against Financial Firms’ Cyber Threats?

Firewalls protect by blocking known online risks and data breaches before they have the chance to access your network. By updating its rule-set regularly, the firewall can keep up with the latest known online dangers. Also, block them if they show up on your network.

Summing Up

The financial services industry is an increasingly popular target for hackers because of their customer data, which can be used to commit fraud. Organizations that work with these providers need to take steps to reduce their risk of exposure when working with third-party providers or services in general. Fortunately, there are several ways you can strengthen your defenses against cyberattacks. Follow our guide for the best results.

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