As we continue into 2022, ransomware is constantly evolving to test the new limits of cybersecurity. Criminals prefer ransomware for its low overhead costs and high profit margins. As a financial services firm, you must stay on top of your game when preventing cyberattacks to avoid the costly legal repercussions that follows. Continue reading to learn about the how evolving ransomware threats are relevant to your financial services firm.

Rise of Ransomware in Financial Services

According to ESET research, 81% of businesses agree that the pandemic has increased the need for improved cybersecurity in financial services. With the sudden shift to have employees working remotely, ransomware has expanded and used this opportunity to strengthen their attack against financial services firms. Businesses did not have the proper time to plan and prevent cyberattacks when employees were forced to shift to remote work.

Although there is a clear rise in ransomware in financial services firms, 23% of businesses are not actively investing into cybersecurity to secure their organizations. Hackers have become more resilient to old tactics like data protection and backup tools, so new methods of ransomware have been created. With new, easier ways to hack into your system, criminals have been increasing their attacks on financial services firms.

The Evolving Ransomware Threat

Ransomware has evolved with technology to include more stealthy attacks that financial services firms do not see coming. Unlike the traditional “spray and pray” tactics where hackers would infect a large number of victims for a small ransom demand, new tactics aim to infect your organization in a “low and slow” approach that targets all of your network. Referred to as RansomOps, these attacks have sophisticated plans that target your networks encrypt your data.

Cybercriminals have grown more creative when attacking financial services firms by using double and triple extortion ransomware. Double extortion ransomware occurs when an organization loses its data and files to a hacker, making them unusable. The hacker will request an additional threat on top of the ransomware, and threaten to leak the stolen data to the public if their request is not completed. This can be especially harmful to financial institutions as they hold private information such as social security numbers and other private financial information.

Triple extortion ransomware adds one last step to double extortion ransomware by demanding ransom from the customers whose data has been breached. The threat of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) as increased as anyone can use this to attack a financial services firm, no matter their skill level in hacking. Financial services firms used to require highly skilled hackers to breach their systems, but now ransomware is available as a hirable service, making it easy for anyone with enough capital to commit a ransomware attack.

How to Protect Your Financial Organization

Protecting your financial services firm is more important than ever since the threat of ransomware has been evolving. According to Berkley Financial Specialist, financial institutions reported a 30% increase in ransomware related events in the first half of 2021. Overall, financial institutions are 300% more likely to experience ransomware than organizations in other sectors. Here’s how to protect your financial services firm from the evolving ransomware threat.

Educate Your Employees

Employees can fall victim to a number of cyber-attacks such as phishing, email scams, or targeted social engineering attacks. The pandemic has increased these attacks as many remote workers were not properly trained to handle ransomware threats. According to an IBM report, it was found that human error accounted for 23% of security breaches across businesses. To reduce your risk of ransomware attacks at your financial services firm, all employees need to trained thoroughly regarding identifying attacks and the plan of execution when ransomware is detected. By taking the necessary human measures to reduce your risk of a cyberattack, your organization is one step closer towards being fully protected against ransomware.

Invest into Cybersecurity Software

According to a ESET research, 28% of financial organizations are not actively investing into new solutions to protect their financial data. Make sure your financial organization is fully protected by investing into the right tools and services that identify cyber threats within your environment. Establish a cyber safety plan (incident response plan) among your employees that lays out the directions employees need to follow in the case of a cyberattack. Look at the most vulnerable parts of your company and prioritize the biggest risks.

Investing into cybersecurity breach detection software offers a layer of protection for your financial institution that reduces your risk of a data breach. Be confident that your network is 100% secure by regularly testing your cybersecurity posture and making the required updates to your system. Investing into security testing, like the services offered here at Kyber Security, can help you to determine if your organization is at risk for ransomware attacks.

Stay Secure with Kyber Security

As the cyber threat landscape constantly evolves, your security measures should be one step ahead. Kyber Security has dedicated professionals experienced in protecting your organization from ever increasing cyber threats. We will work tirelessly to keep your company protected from cyber-attacks.

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