Growing digital engagement with customers across web, mobile apps and social media threatens security of financial services organisations and their customers
Research from RiskIQ on the state of digital risk management in large, UK organisations, reveals that while 90 percent of C-Suite and senior managers in the financial services sector admit they are concerned about the vulnerability of their websites, mobile applications and social media accounts to cyber-attack and impersonation, 46 percent do not have a digital brand protection programme or team in place and 51 percent are missing a dedicated cyber threat management programme to protect them. As a result, financial services organisations are missing the opportunity to detect cyber threats in the early stages where mitigation would greatly reduce the negative impact to the business and its customers.
Cyber security is of particular importance to the finance sector as it continues to invest in web, mobile and social to engage with customers. Today’s cyber threats include threat actors compromising vulnerable web assets and duping users by impersonating brands. Aligned with the heightened cyber threat, almost all (97 percent) agree that their organisation is equally or more at risk from cyber security attacks and digital brand impersonation compared to just five years ago. Yet, only two thirds (67 percent) of financial services organisations surveyed cited that the security of digital channels is a boardroom concern.
The top cyber security concerns for financial services include exposure of customer data (72%), reputational damage (67%) and corporate espionage and phishing/malware attacks on customers (31%). Such concerns are having a direct impact on business progress, with 85 percent of those surveyed stating that cyber security and brand protection concerns are affecting the rollout of new digital initiatives.
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Ben Harknett, VP EMEA, RiskIQ comments, “Our research shows that while organisations, including those in the financial services sector, are advancing their use of digital channels, security is once again playing catch up. This lag results in increased digital risk which could impact the success of those channels. Digital Risk Monitoring and External Threat Management needs to be considered as a priority in the boardroom to defend their digital channels, particularly with the potential for loss of confidential personal credentials and finances.”