Top Cybersecurity Threats That Your Bank Faces in 2023 and How to Protect Against Them

banker on laptop trying to protect against cybersecurity threats

As a bank or financial institution, you hold the key to the most private information of your trusting clients and customers. That’s a tall order! They all hope that your digital security is at Fort Knox level, but we both know that having good cybersecurity is easier said than done.

On March 17th, 2022, the news broke that the data of around 300 million clients of TransUnion South Africa (a major player in the international finance world) was stolen. The hackers held the records as a ransom and demanded millions of dollars. The source of a data breach? A client’s compromised login information. The cybercrime group who claimed responsibility for the attack says that the password they used to access the records was “password.”

You might be reading this and shaking your head, but do you know if your employees’ passwords are much better? Almost two-thirds of people use the same password across multiple accounts and 13% use the same password for every online account. Breach one and you breach them all, we say!

So, while we’d like to say our data security fear-mongering is over, it’s vital to be aware of the top cybersecurity threats of 2023 and of course, what you can do about them.

Top Cybersecurity Threats Facing Your Bank or Financial Institution

All industries face cybersecurity threats but because you deal directly with very private customer data—and a lot of it—banks are prime targets. And in most cases, the smaller the bank, the bigger the target. Why? Think about it in the physical world. Is a thief more likely to get past the top-notch security of a Wells Fargo? Or the bare minimum security of a small, local bank?

Bigger corporations simply have the money and resources for top security, while a smaller local bank might have to just patch up issues as they come along. If you’re a small to medium-sized financial institution, you have to be aware of these threats to cybersecurity so that you can better protect against them.

1. Phishing Scams

You’ll never be able to get away from phishing scams, will you? It’s because the social engineering of these attacks—or the way a hacker personalizes their message—is evolving due to social media. There’s a wealth of information available online about you and your employees, which means cybercriminals can make phishing scams look much more legitimate.

2. Insider Threats

95% of data breaches are caused by human error so whether your employees are being malicious or not, they can be a weak link when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s easy to get lax when it comes to sharing information, using good cyber hygiene, or leaving computers unlocked and exposed (especially with remote work).

3. Supply Chain Attacks

When a hacker gains access to your source code or other software products from an outside party, they are attacking your supply chain. This type of attack is growing in popularity as more companies move their services online and outsource operations to third-party vendors.

4. Application Encryption Failure

There’s an app for everything nowadays. At the 2022 Black Hat—an international conference that talks about all things cybersecurity—the world’s top cybersecurity experts predicted that the next top cybersecurity threat would be data breaches through apps. Encrypted data is supposed to be off-limits, but where there’s an internet connection, there’s an opportunity for a breach.

How to Fight These Top Cybersecurity Threats

Know Your Enemies

If you don’t use very many apps for your workflows or services, you don’t have to worry about application encryption as much. But if you do use lots of third-party services or have a complicated supply chain, you should focus on educating yourself and your employees about the threats that come with those services.

Train Your Employees

Your employees should be aware of the latest phishing scams, techniques to keep their devices secure, and how to identify potential cyber threats. Training your staff is the best way to fight one of the most common issues you’ll encounter—insider threats.

CIS Critical Security Controls

CIS (the Center for Internet Security) is a nonprofit that encourages cybersecurity best practices for the financial sector. Here are 7 of the top CIS controls that you could implement for stronger security:

  1.  Inventory & Control of Enterprise Assets: this helps you keep track of all your internet-related assets and where they’re located so you can identify weak points.
  2. Inventory & Control of Software Assets: keeping track of your software assets and what versions they’re running helps you identify vulnerabilities quickly.
  3. Data Protection: protect your data from unauthorized access and loss by making sure it’s encrypted and understanding where/how it’s stored.
  4. Secure Configuration of Enterprise Assets & Software: various security hardening techniques can be used to ensure the security of your assets and software
  5. Account Management: implement account security measures like password policies, MFA, and permission reviewing to make sure only authorized users can access sensitive systems.
  6. Access Control Management: use least privilege principles to make sure each user only has access to the resources they need for their job.
  7. Continuous Vulnerability Management: security scanning tools will help you find and fix weak points in your security posture.

Partner With a Managed Service Provider

Partnering up with a managed service provider (MSP) will help you identify threats quickly and deploy the best measures to protect your data. With an MSP, you have access to their team of experts who will be able to scan for potential vulnerabilities and deploy solutions that fit your budget.

Simple, Secure IT With RESULTS Technology

These top cybersecurity threats won’t quit, which means your IT can’t either. With 24/7 monitoring and support from RESULTS Technology, you can identify these threats and have the tools to fight back. Cut back on downtime, save money for better security solutions, and have a team of experts in your corner.