Why Banks & Financial Institutions Must Take Extra Cybersecurity Measures During Festive Season

Technological advancement in the past few decades has changed the way people live and how businesses operate all over the world. Everything in our life has become easier, faster and much more convenient. However, it’s impossible to ignore the flip side to such a scenario. Today, more crimes are being conducted via the internet and a computer rather than a gun. 

Each year, a growing number of individuals and organisations fall prey to cyberattacks. As cyber threats continue to evolve, the facts and figures become more and more concerning. This is even more so for banks, NBFCs and institutions belonging to the financial sector – a sector associated with money, information and the public.

Cyberattacks On The Financial Sector

Cybercriminals have diverse reasons to target banks and other financial institutions. The financial sector houses the most sensitive data and liquid assets. By gaining access to a financial institution’s database, hackers can steal money or spy on organisations and its customers. They can sell the stolen confidential data and use the money to fund terrorist attacks. By hacking into a network, cybercriminals can even manipulate or disrupt markets, which interests state actors. 

Hackers can damage, destroy and misuse important data, intellectual property, steal money, commit fraud, embezzlement, and identity theft. Cyberattacks, even unsuccessful ones, carry the potential to disrupt usual business activities, leading to loss of financial and other resources. Besides affecting a financial institution’s solvency, cybersecurity failures can also ruin an organisation’s reputation, proving even more crippling than financial losses. As most of the banking system lies interconnected, the spillover of cyberattacks on other banks can even paralyse the overarching financial system of a state. 

Over the past few years, hackers have been carrying out more sophisticated and large scale attacks on this sector. In 2016, Bangladesh’s central bank became victim to one of them, losing nearly $100 million. In 2017, Equifax, a credit reporting agency, reported the largest publicly disclosed breaches in history. Sensitive personal…