It might not surprise that the companies that provide financial services are a popular target for cybercriminals. After all, they work with money and sensitive data that hackers could use in many ways, from fraud schemes and identity thefts to simply stealing money or selling data on the dark web. The research found that the financial industry has been targeted over 1500 by criminals, with almost 450 cases where the data leaks happened. In this article, we will take a look at why financial companies struggle with cybersecurity.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected every person and company somehow, and the financial companies were not an exception. People suddenly had to start working from home with little to no preparation. While work from home has proven effective in more ways than one and is most likely, one might even say hopefully, going to stay a staple of everyday work.
When the transition first happened, it caused many issues, including the ones related to security. Considering that the companies did neither have time to thoroughly educate all of the employees how to efficiently protect the new devices they might start using for work nor to deploy the cybersecurity measures that would have been in place at the office. In combination with many new scams that cybercriminals could attempt due to the lack of knowledge regarding the new working conditions, it put financial and many other companies at risk.
Financial companies underestimating the value of cybersecurity
It is not new, though, that financial companies often struggle with cybersecurity. There are multiple causes of that, one of them being the difficulty of finding good cybersecurity professionals. There is a global shortage of over 3 million workers in this industry, which means that, quite often, a company might not be able to find who they are looking for, and, if they do manage to find someone, it is a question whether their skills will be good enough.
Alternatively, suppose they want to hire someone who is guaranteed to provide what they need. In that case, they might have to offer them more than they would like, as the employees are becoming more and more aware of what their rights are and better at recognizing if they are overworked or underpaid.
Similarly, financial companies often do not have a big enough budget to achieve the levels of cybersecurity they would like successfully. This can cause the already mentioned problem of not hiring cybersecurity professionals or instituting technical measures to protect their assets adequately.
Unfortunately often happens regarding cybersecurity because the companies often think that their security measures are better than they are, which leaves them blind to the potential threats. They might think they are entirely protected but not realize some vulnerabilities can easily be exploited in their cybersecurity plan. The reasons for this type of oversight can be many, but the consequences can be hazardous. It is much better to assume that there are flaws in the system and then be pleasantly surprised than to think everything is perfect and fall victim to an attack that can affect the company forever.
It goes hand in hand with this that some companies do not understand or value the importance of cybersecurity enough. They might think the attacks happen to other people or something that will not have serious consequences. However, they do not realize that leaving their car with all the doors open and with the key in the ignition and saying no one will steal it: money, data, even reputation. One successful cyberattack is all that is needed for all of it to be gone forever.
Regarding remote work, many companies did not provide proper training for their employees regarding cybersecurity. Everything was focused on productivity and uninterrupted workflow, and the potential dangers of working from home were overlooked. This caused employees to be more vulnerable to phishing attacks and different scams, as they were not taught how to recognize them or handle them. A concerningly large number of companies did not even put any special security measures to protect their remote workers.
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