Cybercriminals increasingly target financial services industry

A report published this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that the financial services sector is the most common target of cybercriminals, with cybercrime accounting for 38 percent of the sector’s economic crime incidents compared to only 16 percent for other industries.

It also reported that cybercrime is now the second most commonly reported economic crime in the financial sector, behind asset misappropriation, and that senior management fraud has also increased, by six percent since 2009.

The rising severity of cybercrime across all industries, but particularly in the financial sector, clearly shows that a new approach is needed in order to tackle the growing cyber threat.

Traditional perimeter security solutions such as anti-virus or encryption, while still playing a part in overall security strategies, are no longer effective in proactively detecting threats and defending the IT estate.

This is particularly important as the incidence of fraud by senior management is clearly on the rise. While the volume of external attacks tends to be greater, insider threats generally have the potential to cause more damage, especially when the source is a privileged user – which senior staff members often are.

It is therefore essential for organizations to not only stop external threats from breaching networks, but to also ensure their cyber security measures effectively monitor the actions of users internally.

Instead of focusing on perimeter solutions, the key is to always have a clear view of what’s happening across an organization’s IT systems. Having constant 360 visibility of IT network activity means that organizations can monitor all anomalous cyber activity – both from the outside, and from within.

Furthermore, rather than just keeping threats out, data security now depends on addressing any potential threats the instant they materialize. Only by having this granular view of all network activity in real time can organizations identify, isolate and remediate any potential cyber threats the moment that they occur.

Author: Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets, LogRhythm.

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