In a rapidly digitizing world, cybersecurity is now a major focus for CIOs. Cybercriminals continually target insurance and financial services companies (BFSI) that handle sensitive financial information and personal data of employees and customers. Forbes reports that cybercriminals target financial institutions four times more than other industries in 2015. Forbes analysis of 2015 found this. The same survey revealed that financial institutions were subjected to 300 times more cyberattacks than other industries in 2019.

Cyber ​​attacks are a great threat to banks and financial institutions. These organizations must be prepared for cyber attacks. As such, it is important to conduct regular and thorough Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing (VAPT).

What is vulnerability assessment and penetration testing?

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing are two types of vulnerability testing. Each test is unique and each has its own strengths. However, they can often be combined to provide a more comprehensive vulnerability analysis. Vulnerability assessments and penetration tests can be performed in the same area.

Vulnerability assessment tools are capable of detecting vulnerabilities, but they can hardly differentiate between failures that can cause harm and those that cannot. Vulnerability scanners notify companies of any pre-existing vulnerabilities in their code and on premises. As such, penetration testing is used to detect and exploit weaknesses in systems to determine if unauthorized access to the system or any other malicious activity is possible.

Why is this form of testing important for BFSI organizations?

BFSI agencies handle confidential financial data of individuals and governments, as well as public and private companies. This data includes bank account numbers and credit card numbers, as well as addresses and national identification numbers. These institutions can face financial and regulatory penalties, as well as reputational damage. These organizations have made significant investments in cybersecurity infrastructure to protect their applications and data from cyber threats.

Digitization was a big trend in the BFSI industry even before COVID. In the BFSI sector scenario, there are exclusively digital financial institutions that are independent of existing companies. These organizations are more susceptible to cyber attacks due to their digital presence. Financial institutions are now more vulnerable than ever thanks to the variety of access options available, including wireless and mobile technologies. Banks have secondary exposures to credit card / payment information that is not only stored internally, but is also managed remotely by other organizations such as hospitality and retail. These exposures make VAPT essential to the survival of BFSI companies.

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What are the various threats facing financial services organizations today?

These are the different threats that financial services organizations are facing today:

Unencrypted data – Encryption is the best way to protect your data storage. However, sensitive information is not uniformly encrypted across organizations. Data in test environments can be exposed to malicious insider threats.

Ransomware and Malware Attacks: Ransomware and malware attacks have been reported by various banks and IT service providers that work with them. Many of these vulnerabilities are caused by insiders connecting to infected machines or providing user credentials in phishing attacks. Forbes estimates that ransomware is responsible for approximately $ 75 billion in annual damage to different organizations.

Cloud Providers – Cyber ​​attacks have made cloud providers a target for many BFSI organizations that use cloud providers to store and run their applications and storage. The Wall Street Journal recently reported an attack called “Cloud Hopper.” It involved multiple cloud providers.

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