Covid-19 security challenges leave bank customers at risk

by Jeremy

Although more than 70% of banks and insurers have experienced a 32% rise in cybercrime during the Covid-19 pandemic, financial institutions (FIs) have slashed their IT security, cybercrime, fraud, and risk department budgets by 27% in the past 12 months, and 43% of FIs say implementing remote working models has made them more insecure.

According to new research released by BAE Systems’ cyber security wing, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, found the pandemic has left gaping holes in FI networks. In The Covid Crime Index 2021, which comprises data drawn from a survey of 401 UK-based financial services organizations, 46% of FIs said they had less visibility of their organizational security posture, 34% said their customers were at greater risk of cybercrime or fraud as a result, and 19% said they were not confident they could do enough to protect customers.Covid

The firm said the monetary impact of cybercriminal activity in the past 12 months has been significant, with 49% of FIs in the UK reporting an upsurge in financial losses. The average cost put at £575,915 and rising. But despite this, security teams are losing money and personnel – budgetary cuts mean 38% of FIs have had to cut back on critical technology spending, and 30% have had to reduce the size of their security teams during the pandemic.

“We are noticing a clear collaboration emerging between different groups of criminals across the wider landscape of serious and organized crime,” said Adrian Nish, head of cyber at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

“Fraudsters and cybercriminals seek to exploit fear, uncertainty, and change. The pandemic has offered them new opportunities to probe for weaknesses they can monetize and new ways to disguise their activity.

“Attackers are building increasingly advanced capabilities to target core banking systems and are becoming more aggressive, harming victims’ ability to respond to attacks. Online criminals have reacted fast, adapting their approach to hunt out small working security gaps and prey on the vulnerable. A secondary study alongside the report found that cybercriminals or fraudsters have targeted one-fifth of UK consumers during the pandemic due to these challenges.

Average losses to consumers clocked in at £866. More than a quarter said they had seen an email hoax about Covid-19, and 20% had been targeted in SMS or smishing attacks. Also, 54% of consumers surveyed said they believed it was the job of their bank to protect them, and 52% said they would like banks, credit card providers, and other FIs they dealt with to provide more guidance on how to be better protected. And this should be incentivized to do so, as more than 80% said protection from cybercrime would be a factor when changing or choosing an FI to deal with.

Related Posts