The financial sector very vulnerable to the rise of cyberattacks

Darren Guccione, CEO – Keeper Security

October 6, 2021

The UK financial sector is struggling to keep cybercriminals at bay, new research from Keeper Security has revealed. The 2021 Cybersecurity Census Report found that the average financial company in the UK suffered an average of 60 cyberattacks in the last year, with most (81%) IT managers in the sector expecting that this number will increase further over the next 12 months. Yet less than half (42%) believe they are well prepared against these attacks.

The pressure on IT teams throughout the pandemic is taking its toll on cybersecurity best practices. The majority (79%) of IT decision makers in financial companies have done at least one thing to compromise the security of their organization in the past year. More than 2 in 5 (44%) have kept a cybersecurity attack affecting their business to themselves, with a similar figure reusing an existing password at work (39%) or using easily guessed login credentials such as “password”. password” (38%). The consequences of bad habits are being felt, as nearly two-thirds (63%) of IT decision makers admit the time it takes to react to a cyberattack has increased over the past 12 months, with a worrying 59% admitting they don’t. not fill in the gaps. in their online safety.

“The UK financial sector is a lucrative target for cybercriminals given the wealth of data it possesses. The frequency, intensity and severity of the attacks we are seeing warrant immediate action,” said Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security. “Senior IT decision makers in the industry have undoubtedly had a hard time since the start of the pandemic. But the financial industry must make cybersecurity a top priority. Otherwise, there is a real risk that even relatively unsophisticated cyberattacks will cause serious damage and cripple organizations. Ransomware-As-A-Service is fueling an exponential increase in these attacks.

One solution to minimize the pressures felt by IT managers is external review. An overwhelming majority of 89% agreed that an independent national body would be an effective way to hold businesses accountable while reducing the level of cyberattacks targeting the financial sector. Additionally, almost all (94%) agree that businesses should be legally required to have basic cybersecurity protections in place before they are allowed to operate or trade.

Guccione concludes: “At least for now, the UK financial sector needs to do more to protect itself against cyberattacks. The reality is that there is no magic bullet in the fight against all cyberattacks. However, financial organizations can do a lot to start resolving the issue quickly and efficiently. The simple act of protecting a company’s passwords, for example, can go a long way in preventing most of these attacks from succeeding. But the key here is to keep pace, otherwise financial industry organizations will continue to be an easy and lucrative target for cybercriminals.

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