Two-Thirds of Financial Services Firms Suffered Cyber-Attack in the Past Year

Almost two-thirds (65%) of large financial services companies have suffered a cyber-attack in the past year, while 45% have experienced a rise in attack attempts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is according to new research from HelpSystems, which surveyed 250 CISOs and CIOs in global financial services firms about the impact of the pandemic on their cybersecurity.

It highlighted that these organizations are taking cybersecurity increasingly seriously, with 92% stating that they have increased investment in this area over the past 12 months, with 26% doing so by a significant amount. The main targets of this investment have included secure file transfer (64%), protecting the remote workforce (63%) and cloud/office365 (56%).

The shift to home working as a result of COVID-19 has meant securing this area has become a key objective for 42% of financial services companies and 47% of respondents said they have grown investment in secure collaboration tools.

Around one-third of the security leaders have also quickly reacted to update regulatory best practices since the start of the crisis, while nearly half (46%) had re-evaluated their cybersecurity training and policies to account for the rise in home working.

In addition, almost half felt that the pandemic accelerated changes already in the pipeline, including moving to Office 365, while 43% saw digital transformation as the biggest challenge facing companies in the financial services industry right now.

Kate Bolseth, CEO, HelpSystems, commented: “It’s a highly challenging cybersecurity landscape for the financial services sector, with many CISOs focused in battling day-to-day threats alongside trying to achieve broader strategic objectives.

“Technology is a key part of cybersecurity of course, and no organization will ever be secure without the right security solutions to protect the organization here and now. However, of equal importance, especially for longer-term strategic goals, is ensuring the right processes are in place and educating and training employees.”

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