FINANCIAL institutions are ramping up their security measures as defense from the growing risk of cyber attacks, an international study has found.
According to the Financial Institutions Security Risks Research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, security investment is a high priority for banks and financial institutions with retail banks spending three times as much on IT security, higher than non-financial institutions.
“Combatting the constantly changing threats targeting their own IT infrastructure and customer accounts is an everyday challenge for financial institutions,” said Veniamin Levtsov, vice president for enterprise business at Kaspersky Lab in a statement.
Levtsov said that to put an effective response in place - that protects all points of vulnerability-requires the financial services industry to have several key components: build a highly integrated anti-targeted attacks protection, embrace multi-channel, anti-fraud security, and get actionable intelligence on evolving threats.
The study noted that 64 percent of banks admitted that they will invest in improving their IT security regardless of the return-on-investment to meet the growing demands of government regulators, top management and their customers.
However, surveyed banks also admitted that despite putting serious efforts and budgets in safeguarding their perimeters against cyber threats, it has proven difficult, specially with the vast and changing threat landscape, coupled with the challenge of improving the security habits of customers.
Forty-two percent of banks predict that an overwhelming majority of their customers will use mobile banking within three years, but they admit that users are too careless in their online behavior.
Moreover, majority of the banks surveyed (46 percent) admitted that their customers are frequently under attack from phishing attempts. Seventy percent of banks admitted to losing money easily after a cyber attack.
The study also revealed that majority of the banks see improving the security of apps and websites that their customers use as one of their main security priorities, closely followed by the implementation of more complex authentication and verification of log-in details.
Banks, meanwhile, show comparatively low levels of concern about the threat of financial loss due to attacks on ATMs, despite being highly vulnerable to attacks of this nature.