Average data breach 'costs financial services firms $6m'

The average data breach costs financial services firms almost US$6m, according to new research, with the US being the country most targeted by criminals

Ransomware is one of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats facing the financial services sector, with one malicious group accountable for nearly 40% of ransomware incidents, according to new research.

Trustwave, which provides cybersecurity and managed security services provider, has found that the average costs of a data breach in the financial services sector is US$5.9m – a price that many smaller firms would struggle to pay.

The sector has long been a prime target for cybercriminals because of the vast amounts of personal financial information on offer, and because of the heightened opportunity for financial gain. However, financial services have actually dropped to become the second most targeted industry after manufacturing for the second successive year, according to separate research published earlier in the year by IBM X-Force.

Speaking to FinTech Magazine at the time, IBM X-Force’s John Dwyer said that this was partly due to vulnerabilities in global supply chains.

‘Cybersecurity the foundation of trust in financial services’

In its latest research, Trustwave has found that HTML attachments continue to make up the vast majority (78%) of file types used as a vehicle for malware attacks.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the distribution of attacks partially reflects the makeup of the global financial landscape; home to almost a million finance or insurance firms, the US is home to the largest proportion of targeted companies (51%), with India (9%), Mexico and Russia (both 7%) far behind.

“Cybersecurity is the foundation of trust in the financial services industry,” says Trustwave CISO Kory Daniels. “For financial institutions, it isn’t just about protecting data, it's about safeguarding the financial wellbeing and peace of mind of customers.

“Our latest threat briefing is a valuable resource for security leaders within the financial services sector, providing a comprehensive view of the threats observed by our SpiderLabs team, along with specific mitigation strategies to help organisations protect extremely sensitive data and assets.”

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