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Cyberthreats Against Financial Services Up 56%

Financial institutions interacting with customers online must prepare for a broader, more sophisticated variety of threats.

Financial organizations increasingly turn to online portals, social media, and mobile apps to better engage with customers. However, the same digital platforms’ low cost and low barrier to entry make it easier for cybercriminals to exploit them and target a larger pool of financial victims.

ZeroFOX’s “Financial Services Digital Threat Report 2019,” released today, reports a 56% year-over-year increase in digital threats targeting the financial space. Researchers scanned 2.9 billion pieces of content and found more than 8.9 million security events in a 12-month period. Brand abuse and manipulation was the most common threat, with more than 250,000 events. Ninety percent of these were name impersonations, often not easily detected due to disguising tactics.

Financial services firms are more prone to corporate social media account takeover, researchers found: Attempts occur nearly 30 times per year on average for each company. Each executive is hit with an average of four credential compromises per year, 2.3 of which stem from breached databases. Each financial services company has an average of 30 targeted execs.

Fraud made up 40% of all cyberattack activity against financial services firms, analysts report, and 75% of those scams occurred on mobile apps and social media. Of the 87,900 fraud scams detected, 37% were money-flipping schemes, 28% were customer giveaway scams, and 27% were scams related to cryptocurrency. Researchers also discovered 489 fake mobile apps.

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