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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 12:36

Hacking, malware attacks hit financial services hard in 2019 Featured

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More than 60% of all leaked records in 2019 were exposed by financial services organisations, with hacking and malware causing 75% of all data breaches in the financial services industry, according to a new security report.

And while only 6% of all breaches in 2019 were suffered by financial services firms, these breaches compromised significantly more records than those that occurred in other industries.

According to security firm Bitglass, this was at least partially due to the Capital One mega breach, which compromised more than 100 million records.

“Despite this outlier, average breaches in financial services companies still tend to be larger and more detrimental than other sectors’ breaches. Fortunately, they do occur less often,” notes Bitglass.

“Given that organisations in the financial services industry are entrusted with highly valuable, personally identifiable information (PII), they represent an attractive target for cyber criminals,” said Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass.

“Hacking and malware are leading the charge against financial services and the costs associated with breaches are growing. Financial services organisations must get a handle on data breaches and adopt a proactive security strategy if they are to properly protect data from an evolving variety of threats.”

Key Findings from Bitglass’ 2019 financial breach report include:

Hacking and Malware remain the primary cause of data breaches in financial services at 74.5pc (up slightly from 73.5pc in 2018). Insider Threats grew from 2.9pc in 2018 to 5.5pc today, while Accidental Disclosures increased from 14.7pc to 18.2pc.

The cost per average breached record in financial services ($210) has increased over the last few years and exceeds the per-breached-record cost of all other industries except healthcare ($US429).

For mega breaches, which affect approximately 100 million or more individuals, the cost per breached record in financial services is now $388 – up from $350 in 2018.

Many financial services organisations are still not taking proper steps to secure data in the modern cloud and BYOD environment. Consequently they are suffering from recurring breaches. For example, Capital One and Discover each experienced their fourth significant data breach in 2019.

The top three breaches of financial services firms in 2019 were suffered by Capital One Financial Corporation (106 million individuals), Centerstone Insurance and Financial Services (111,589), and Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union (86,773).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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