For financial organizations across the world, 2017 proved to be eventful. There were all kinds of cyber security incidents- malware strikes, credit card breaches, ATM attacks, hijacking bank domains to intercept customers’ electronic operations etc. 2017 saw the first ATM malware-as-a-service instance and things started getting so easy that even a nonprofessional person could plan an ATM attack or a credit card breach.
So, how’s 2018 going to be for financial organizations, as regards cyber security? Based on emerging trends and the analyses done by experts, here’s a look at the predictions for 2018, for financial organizations, focussing basically on the threats that loom large upon the financial sector:
Automation of ATM malware attacks…
ATM malware attacks are on the rise; 2017 saw the emergence of ATM malware-as-a-service. Experts infer that 2018 could see the full automation of ATM malware attacks happening, as part of the evolution of ATM malware attacks. Thus a cyber criminal, even an unprofessional, could perhaps connect automatically to an ATM using a mini-computer and execute things like malware installation, card data detection etc. This would help cyber criminals a lot, by making it all simpler, easier and faster.
Increase in the number of nation-state sponsored attacks
We’ve seen many nation-state sponsored attacks happening in recent times against financial organizations. We’ve had reports of the infamous Lazarus group, allegedly a group of hackers sponsored by North Korea, who have attacked many banks across the world. There reportedly are many such state-sponsored APT groups representing different nations. Experts believe that in 2018 there would be an increased incidence of such nation-state sponsored attacks on financial organizations. More state-sponsored groups could emerge in the months to come, and more nations could join the cyber-spy race.
A rise in attacks on crypto exchange platforms
Hackers now tend to target cryptocurrency exchanges, because in recent years there has been a boom in the cryptocurrency business. New entrants in the field are yet to perfect their security infrastructure, thereby providing cyber criminals lots of opportunities to make some easy money. The hackers penetrate the infrastructure of many crypto exchange platforms using the necessary toolkit and make some quick buck. 2018 would most likely witness an increase in this trend.
More card frauds to happen
Cyber security experts predict a spike in the incidences of traditional card frauds. A credit card breach always gives hackers access to millions of credit cards, which they could misuse in many ways. This creates a situation where security becomes a big issue for many financial organizations, especially banking institutions. Hackers can use the data at their disposal to get away with huge amounts from the bank accounts of the people whose credit cards have been compromised. More such fraud schemes are likely to happen in 2018, as per experts.
Spike in attacks via blockchain technology
Financial organizations are now beginning to use systems based on the blockchain technology, which has lots of advantages. At the same there, there are vulnerabilities in the blockchain technology that hackers could exploit to throw out of gear the operations of a financial organization and make some quick money. Such attacks would show an increasing trend in 2018.
Spike in supply chain attacks
Supply chain attacks have already been showing an increasing trend. When hackers find it difficult to penetrate the networks of large financial organizations who invest heavily in security, they attack software vendors supplying such financial organizations. (The vendors might be having weak levels of protection). 2018 might see a spike in such attacks, with hackers targeting software vendors who cater to financial organizations. This might include those who supply software for ATMs and PoS terminals.