Financial Groups Give Cyber Threats High Priority; Majority Report Breaches – Study

Editorial Staff 9 March 2023

Financial Groups Give Cyber Threats High Priority; Majority Report Breaches – Study

A study based on findings in Europe, Asia and the Americas says that while financial organisations increasingly take time and trouble to foil cyber threats, the vast majority have also reported some sort of breach.

A growing number of financial services senior figures take cybersecurity seriously, a new report finds, while noting that 93 per cent of 150 information technology and IT decision-makers in such firms have reported a breach of some kind.

The findings, which come from SailPoint – a US-based identity security provider – are based on the views of IT-related figures in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan. The respondents, who were polled in August and September 2022, were from organisations with 1,000 or more staff.

All respondents said identity security is either a relatively important, critical, or number one investment priority within the organisation. Furthermore, 56 per cent of those surveyed said their organisation has fully implemented an identity security programme and 29 per cent said their programme has been in place for at least two years. 

“The financial services industry deals with large amounts of sensitive data and personal identifiable information, making it a prime target for attackers,” Matt Mills, president of Worldwide Field Operations for SailPoint, said. “This makes strong identity security a necessity. The fact that over half of the surveyed financial services firms have fully implemented an identity security solution is a step in the right direction, but it’s clear that there is still room for improvement. Breaches have long been a fact of life in the financial sector, but implementing a strong identity security solution greatly reduces the potential damage that an attack can incur.”  

Among the challenges highlighted, 91 per cent of respondents said they have experienced difficulties when it comes to adopting identity security, with the most common being flexibility in integration (38 per cent), high configurability (35 per cent), or being too complicated to implement (32 per cent). In addition, nearly all respondents (97 per cent) said that their organisation’s ability to detect and prevent identity-related security breaches needed improvement. 

Among other findings, 72 per cent of respondents said the number of identity-related breaches had increased over the last two years in the US, rising to 80 per cent for those in the rest of the world. 

The report quoted an unnamed senior director of security operations in the US as saying: “Banks are one of the juiciest targets, so the criminals are going to give it more resources…it is a lot easier to steal something over a computer than robbing a bank with a gun.”

SailPoint is based in Austin, Texas.

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