Accenture report calls out 'extreme but plausible' threats to financial services
April 28, 2021
The new research by Accenture Security, '2021 Future Cyber Threats,' explores how threat actors leveraged COVID 19 to further exploit the financial sector at a time when global economies and individual livelihoods depend on the support of financial services. Building on last year’s report, it identifies five main threat themes:
Threats to financial services were also the subject of a recent interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. He laid out one possible troubling scenario: hackers paralyzing a major payment processor, compromising the flow of money between financial institutions and shutting down broad parts of the financial system. Bottom line, Powell considers cyberattacks to be the number one threat to the global financial system.
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Financial services companies are all too aware of the threats and are working diligently to combat them. But despite those efforts, money is still being siphoned off by cybercriminals—US$4.2B in 2020 alone, according to the FBI.
This is occurring in part because adversaries are becoming more sophisticated, breaching software supply chains and targeting cybersecurity vendors that organizations trust as reliable partners to keep them safe. They've also capitalized on COVID-19 concerns to cause breaches involving malicious or unwitting insiders. Even ransomware actors have become more destructive and brazen: They're now less likely to restore systems, even when paid.
Our report, based on research by the Accenture Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) team, recommends that financial services organizations double down on time-tested mitigation strategies while also considering cutting-edge countermeasures. Much of the needed approach boils down to comprehensive defense and assuming a breach mindset.
For specifics on addressing the new cyber threats in financial services, download the full report here.
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 Cyber Attacks are the number-one threat to the global financial system, Fed Chair says, April 12, 2021, CNN Business, https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/12/business/jerome-powell-cyberattacks-global-threat/index.html
 FBI 2020 Internet Crime Report, March 17, 2021, FBI News, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-the-internetcrime-complaint-center-2020-internet-crime-reportincluding-covid-19-scam-statistics