Defend Financial Services Companies from Cyberattacks

Attacks often exploit identity systems

Financial services companies are the #1 target for cyberattacks, according to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report. Why? Because these institutions hold a treasure trove of customer information. Consumers who relish the convenience of banking online, pulling cash from an ATM, or tracking their expenses on their phones expect their transactions to be secure. But the tangled web of government agencies and policies tasked with cyber defense has done little to protect financial services companies from rampant cyberattacks: 62% of data exposed in breaches comes from the financial services industry. 

The financial services industry is a prime target in particular for state-sponsored threat actors because these institutions are part of a country’s national infrastructure: Consider the panic created when cybercriminals took down the New Zealand stock exchange in 2020. 

 The risk to the financial industry of cyberattacks is incalculable given the multitude of security challenges this sector faces:  

  • Interconnectivity of financial companies creates a spillover effect that reverberates around the world, threatening solvency of institutions  
  • Attacks on financial institutions are increasingly sophisticated, such as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) tactics carried out by threat actors that breach networks and conduct long-term surveillance and data exfiltration operations 
  • Lack of a defined authority on cyber defense for financial institutions creates a dangerous vacuum, leaving organizations to combat often state-sponsored cybercriminals on their own 
  • Tried-and-true tactics such as phishing and social engineering are still remarkably successful as they exploit customers’ trust in their banking institutions 

The financial industry is the #1 target for cyberattacks.

 

62%

Of data exposed in breaches comes from the financial services industry 

 

300x 

That’s the likelihood of financial services companies experiencing a cyberattack compared with other sectors 

 

238%

The spike in cyberattacks against banks between February and April 2020  

 

Cyberattacks on financial institutions often start with an identity system breach

As with other sectors, the financial industry relies on a core identity management system—typically Active Directory—to manage permissions and access to information systems. Cybercriminals routinely exploit the security weaknesses of AD—a twenty-year-old technology—to breach financial systems and move laterally through the network, often dropping malware that lurks for months before detonating. As reliance and expectations for remote banking skyrocket, closing up gaps in AD security becomes paramount.

Harden Defenses Against Financial Industry Cyberattacks

Semperis protects financial institutions from cybercriminals before, during, and after an attackSemperis helps expose blind spots in the organization’s core identity system, detect and autonomously roll back malicious activity, and ensure a full, malware-free, speedy recovery of business operations.

Challenge

Cyberattacks against banks and other financial companies target security weaknesses in Active Directory to gain access to the organization’s information systems, including customer account information.  

Solution

Semperis exposes security gaps in Active Directoryincluding Incidents of Exposure (such as configurations that have drifted over time) and evidence of malicious activity.

Challenge

After gaining access to the financial institution’s information systems, attackers can move throughout the network, often undetectedbefore dropping malware.

Solution

Semperis identifies attacks that bypass agent-based or log-based detection, including many SIEM solutions, and provides autonomous rollback of suspicious activity. 

Challenge

Cyberattacks can bring banks, investment firms, and other financial services operations to a halt, preventing access to funds, compromising customer data, and stoking public fear and panic.

Solution

Semperis reduces the time to fully recover Active Directory from days or weeks to minutes—accelerating the return of business operations and closing security gaps to prevent a similar attack recurring.  

“Financial services companies are in the crosshairs of cybercriminals because of the potential payoff when customer data is compromised. And as with other industries, attacks in the financial sector often start with an Active Directory breach.”

Sean Deuby
Director of Services | Semperis

Learn more about how cybercriminals exploit financial institutions’ identity systems

Learn More

How to Defend Against Ransomware-as-a-Service Groups That Attack Active Directory

Do You Know Your Active Directory Security Vulnerabilities?

“Right on target: Easy to restore full [Active Directory] forest. Easy to use. Friendly interface.” 

Systems Admin, Financial Services Company 

Read the full review on Gartner Peer Insights 

 

Unlock cyber resilience. Request a Demo