Digitalisation drives cyber risks for APAC financial firms

As financial institutions quickly expand their IT infrastructure, it has become apparent some of their cyber security isn’t up to the same standard

With digitalisation continuing to accelerate and more organisations are switching to digital, established banks in the Apac region are outpacing their capacity to adequately protect themselves from emergent cyber threats, according to new analysis by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-Isac).

The FS-ISAC’s 2021 Cyber Trends and Threats Review sheds light on current strategic trends in financial services and cybersecurity and offers critical insights into the most salient cyber threats facing the APAC financial services industry today. The Review also highlights key guidance for how to prepare for emerging cyber threats in 2022.

"As digitalisation of financial services across the Asia Pacific region takes place at record speed, firms should be aware of the accompanying pitfalls and take steps to mitigate them," said Christophe Barel, Managing Director for APAC, FS-ISAC. "In particular, as the region’s digital shift takes place amid organisational challenges and an under-supply of cybersecurity talent, firms may face the risk that digital expansion could outpace their capacity to adequately protect themselves from emergent cyber threats. Safeguarding against these threats will require the collective wisdom of the entire industry, with intelligence sharing as a core pillar."

Growing cyber threats 

As financial institutions have had to quickly expand their IT infrastructure to stay competitive, some have found that their cybersecurity apparatus has not scaled up at the same pace. According to a 2021 Check Point report, 75% of firms said that the security of their public cloud infrastructure is a serious concern, as many enterprises are still getting to grips with addressing the different security challenges associated with cloud-based solutions. 

The review also identified other significant trends facing the region, including the strengthening of regulatory oversight of cyber risk management, organisational challenges to threat response, and an acute cybersecurity talent shortage.

As cybersecurity becomes a board-level issue because of the existential risks cyber attacks can pose, financial firms must re-imagine cybersecurity policies and procedures for a new era where the industry is hyperconnected and cyber threats know no bounds.

“In 2021, third-party risk and ransomware continue to dominate the cyber threat environment, while the resurgent threats of DDoS and trojans have also reared their heads. Sharing intelligence both globally and amongst members in the region can help firms understand not only new and emerging tools, techniques, and procedures used by cyber criminals but also best practices on how to defend against them,” said Barel.

 

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