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Data Breaches and Financial Institutions: A Hacker’s Dream

Updated: Aug 11

For the last few years, industries worldwide have been targeted for the sensitive information they manage. As society increasingly relies on digital data, this becomes a hacker's playground as cybercrime grows yearly.



This blog looks at how data breaches have impacted how many businesses function and what business leaders can do to prevent these devastating cyberattacks.


Data Breach Defined

A data breach is "the intentional or unintentional release of secure or private/confidential information to an untrusted environment."


This could be a release involving bank card and account information, or even passwords and private emails containing necessary details leading to enormous losses for that organization. Whether a data breach is intentional or accidental, they both have in common that the data owner doesn't know or give their permission.



Financial Institutions: That Next Target

In 2020, over 60% were data breaches from the financial sector of all the leaked records and information. The 2020 Financial Breach Report by Bitglass found that financial institutions suffered 6% of all breaches. This threat is such an issue because data breaches where banks and finance firms were the victims were vast amounts of records stolen.



Data breaches from financial institutions tend to carry more damage than any other industry because of how sensitive the stolen data is. When it comes to a data breach for any financial organization, there is almost always a chance for a considerable loss of reputation, diminished customer loyalty, and a heavily tarnished brand.


Typical Causes of Data Breaches

Although data breaches will happen, there are ways to be proactive by understanding the potential causes. Below are some of the most typical reasons:

  • Compromised or stolen devices

  • Current or former employee error (which could be intentional or unintentional)

  • Stolen credentials and banking information

  • Malicious malware on devices

  • Program vulnerabilities

9 Easy Tips to Stop Data Breaches

Large and small financial institutions are at risk of data breaches and should invest more in cybersecurity capabilities. Here are nine easy tips to stop data breaches:

  1. Invest in data breach detection programs

  2. Regularly do periodic training webinars or sessions for all employees.

  3. Use high-quality encryption for sensitive data.

  4. Applies a robust BYOD security firm-wide policy

  5. Ensure employees don't download or externally transfer sensitive data

  6. Protect all company devices with top-of-the-line anti-virus programs

  7. Check on network access on all employee devices.

  8. Ensure the firm is up to date regarding all local and federal privacy laws

  9. Regularly update all passwords and use multi-factor authentication.



Moving Forward

The cybersecurity landscape is dynamic and forever changing, but hackers always find new and inventive ways to steal sensitive information. As these trends grow, financial institutions will remain a hacker's top target.


Companies everywhere need to ensure they keep the sensitive data entrusted safe, ensuring customer loyalty doesn't slowly deteriorate.


Hungry for more? Join me each week, where I'll break down complex topics and dissect the latest news within the cybersecurity industry and blockchain ecosystem, simplifying the world of tech.



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