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Top 5 Financial Industry Cyber Attacks

Top 5 Financial Industry Cyber Attacks

Summary

  • The financial services industry faces significant pressure from a cybersecurity perspective
  • The top cyber attacks in the financial industry include phishing, ransomware, DDoS attacks, local file inclusion, and insider threats (users or employees)
  • Being proactive to prevent these types of attacks from taking place is critical

The financial industry suffers from more cyber attacks than any other, and that should come as no surprise. After all, cyber attacks are normally motivated by one of two factors: gaining maximum profits or inflicting maximum damage. Targeting a financial institution responsible for massive quantities of private, corporate, or even public funds—like a bank or an insurance company—is an effective way to do both. No wonder the industry now experiences an average of one cyber attack every 10 seconds.

The costs of these attacks are often severe, too. The average cost of a data breach in the financial industry is $5.72 million, according to info from IBM. That means it’s vital for financial institutions to take precautionary measures against likely cyber threats—and to help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common cyber attacks financial organizations face. Read the list below to learn more about how much these attacks can cost you and how you can prevent them.

Employee at financial services company after receiving phishing email
Via Pexels.

Phishing

Phishing attacks rely on fraudulent communications, usually disguised to appear as messages from key partners, clients, or other stakeholders in the organization. In the financial sector, these could appear at first glance to be emails from investors, regulators, or vendors.

Email phishing is the most common kind, where a hacker simply sends a legit-looking email to an employee at a company in an attempt to make them volunteer-sensitive information or download malicious software. But it’s also not uncommon for hackers to use fake links (HTTPS phishing) to direct victims to pages that download malware to their devices and let hackers steal data from them.

  • Cost: phishing scams cost the average large organization nearly $15 million each year.
  • Collateral damage: phishing doesn’t just cost a company money—it can also result in a loss of intellectual property, disrupt operational activities, and damage the institution’s reputation. Phishing attacks that target company leadership (called whaling attacks) can have particularly devastating consequences.
  • How can it be prevented? Improve your endpoint security. When a device on your network is compromised with malware from a phishing attack, you likely only have 10-30 minutes before it spreads to others. Our endpoint detection and response services can isolate your devices as soon as they are compromised and contain the threat until it can be dealt with.
Cartoon hands exchanging money for key over computer to represent ransomware concept

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that makes a device unusable until the victim pays a given amount of money to the hackers who control it. In a recent poll of financial organizations affected by cyber attacks, nearly 75% reported being affected by ransomware hacks.

  • Cost: in a six-month period during the previous year, the US Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit reported more than $5.2 billion in bitcoin payments related to ransomware attacks.
  • Collateral damage: ransomware can do more than make an endpoint unusable—it can also give hackers control over the data that endpoint can access. Often, the hackers will threaten to release this data unless the ransom is paid, so ransomware often creates a “Sophie’s Choice” situation where a business is forced to choose between its profits and its reputation.
  • How can it be prevented? Hackers often use phishing emails to get ransomware onto your devices, so endpoint protection is important here, too. But adding in frequent vulnerability scanning (which identifies weaknesses in your network security so they can be resolved) and an up-to-date firewall (which blocks unauthorized traffic to and from your network) also play key roles in stopping this common type of threat.
Hacker's hand on keyboard during DDoS attack
Via Pexels.

DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when a threat actor purposefully overloads your organization’s network with traffic to disrupt normal business operations and potentially divert cybersecurity resources so that other hacks can be attempted with a greater chance of success. More than 50% of reported DDoS attacks are against financial institutions such as commercial banks and payment card processing companies.

  • Cost: most credit card companies process thousands of transactions per second, so a successful DDoS attack can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue every minute.
  • Collateral damage: during a DDoS attack, an organization’s internal cybersecurity resources are often diverted to fix the disruption in services. During this time, detection time for other threats can increase, making them more likely to succeed.
  • How can it be prevented? Knowing how to configure your firewall to block unwanted traffic can reduce the possible areas a DDoS attack can target. Virtual Armor’s managed firewall services can be configured by our experts to make these attacks as ineffective as possible against your network.
Infographic showing how LFI attacks work
Via Spanning.com.

Local File Inclusion

These attacks are among the most common kinds of web application attacks in the financial sector, making up nearly 50% of web application attacks on financial organizations in recent years. LFI attacks work by targeting web applications used by financial institutions and attempting to make them display or run files on a server—revealing sensitive data.

  • Cost: LFI attacks are often used to make other cyber crimes possible, so the exact costs involved with them can be difficult to pinpoint. However, given that they are commonly used to create data breaches and that the average cost of a data breach in the financial sector this year is $5.72 million, it’s easy to see why they represent a major threat.
  • Collateral damage: LFI attacks can open up an organization’s clients who use their web applications to Denial of Service attacks, data theft, and website defacement. LFI attacks can also lead to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, where malicious code is attached to a web-based application and affects every person who uses it.
  • How can it be prevented? Regular vulnerability scanning plays a vital role in identifying areas where your organization’s web applications can be compromised. Virtual Armor offers vulnerability scanning as an independent service and as part of our SOCaaS option.
Infographic showing difference between malicious insiders and inadvertent insider threats
Via Ekran.

Insider Threats

Insider threats occur when someone within your organization is responsible for a cybersecurity threat. This can happen deliberately (malicious insiders), but that’s not always the case—sometimes, employees just make mistakes or don’t have the resources to adequately protect your organization from a potential breach (inadvertent insiders).

  • Cost: the average cost of these incidents is upwards of $15 million in 2022.
  • Collateral damage: the average financial sector employee has access to over 11 million records on their first day of work. That makes the extent of the damage an internal threat can cause potentially limitless.
  • How can it be prevented? Hiring Virtual Armor to provide SOCaaS takes pressure off your existing cybersecurity team and puts the most sensitive parts of your cybersecurity infrastructure in the hands of our trained professionals. Simply put: the more of your cybersecurity we handle, the less of a risk you face from your own employees.

Protect Your Organization from Cyber Attacks

Strong cybersecurity isn’t optional for financial institutions—there’s simply too much to lose. To learn more about how Virtual Armor’s solutions can bolster your cybersecurity capabilities, contact us immediately and speak with a member of our team.

VirtualArmour Closes USD $486,000 Initial Hardware Sale to Leading American University

VirtualArmour Closes USD $486,000 Initial Hardware Sale to Leading American University

VirtualArmour was taken private in Q3 2021. These legacy press releases are kept online for informational purposes. VirtualArmour is a proud member of the Evergreen Services Group family of companies.

Vancouver, B.C. – (June 14, 2016) VirtualArmor International Inc. (“VirtualArmor” or the “Company”) (CSE: VAI) is pleased to announce that it has closed a USD $486,000 hardware order to a leading American university. This is a first time purchase order from this institution.
“This leading university made an initial purchase from our company in order to upgrade their existing network infrastructure to a market leading solution through our Company,” said Matthew Brennan, Vice President of Sales. “With our value proposition of providing innovative solutions in networking and cybersecurity, we anticipate this initial sale to become repeat business in the future that could include additional hardware purchases and ongoing managed services.”
“For the duration of 2016, we anticipate our pipeline of new customers to continue growing as we have invested significantly into our company by adding key sales professionals in parts of the U.S. market,” continued Matthew Brennan.
About VirtualArmor
VirtualArmor is a cyber security company that delivers solutions to help enterprises build, monitor, maintain and secure their networks from cloud to core. As a managed security services provider, VirtualArmor’s services run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year through its primary security operations center (“SOC”) located in Middlesbrough, U.K. and a secondary SOC located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Each member of VirtualArmor’s team supports the three main facets of its business: managed services, professional services, and hardware sales, by handling the design, configuration and installation of advanced network and cloud architecture solutions. VirtualArmor uses best-in-breed partnerships to provide solutions for customers that are affordable, highly reliable, scalable, and backed by thorough knowledge of the related technologies, products, and platforms. VirtualArmor has secured partnerships with established technology businesses specializing in network appliances, software, and systems and provides its services to the mid- to large- enterprise and service provider markets. VirtualArmor customers include a 13-location data center provider, a Fortune 100 oil and gas company, multiple service providers with presences throughout the United States, and household name enterprise organizations located primarily in the western United States. Further information about the Company is available under its profile on the SEDAR website, www.sedar.com, on the CSE website, www.thecse.com, and on its website,http://www.virtualarmor.com.
Company Contact:
Todd Kannegieter
President and CEO
Office: 720-961-3304
[email protected]
Investor Relations Contact:
Babak Pedram
Office: 416-644-5081
[email protected]
Forward-Looking Information:
This press release may include forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. The forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the management of VirtualArmor. Although VirtualArmor believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information as VirtualArmor cannot provide any assurance that it will prove to be correct. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and VirtualArmor disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

VirtualArmour Expands Sales Force to Meet Surging Cybersecurity Solution Demands

VirtualArmour Expands Sales Force to Meet Surging Cybersecurity Solution Demands

VirtualArmour was taken private in Q3 2021. These legacy press releases are kept online for informational purposes. VirtualArmour is a proud member of the Evergreen Services Group family of companies.

Vancouver, B.C. – (June 8, 2016) VirtualArmor International Inc. (“VirtualArmor” or the “Company”) (CSE: VAI) is pleased to announce that it is expanding its sales team to meet the heightened demand for cloud offerings and managed cybersecurity solutions.
“With the need for cybersecurity solutions continuing to rise in the U.S. and internationally, our Company is doubling its sales organization to include additional personnel to meet the growing demand of North American enterprises that are looking to strengthen their security posture,” said Matthew Brennan, Vice President of Sales at VirtualArmor.
The new professionals will be responsible for driving sales efforts in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and the Bay Area, CA. Both the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area are known for their innovation.
“Enterprises of all sizes are seeing a great value in working alongside a managed security services provider. The majority of these organizations don’t have the staff, experience or knowledge to effectively monitor (24x7x365), manage and maintain their network,” continued Matthew Brennan. “The mission of our expanded sales force will be to drive revenue in areas of the U.S. that we haven’t been focused on and more importantly have had no sales or engineering presence in the past.”
About VirtualArmor
VirtualArmor is a cyber security company that delivers solutions to help enterprises build, monitor, maintain and secure their networks from cloud to core. As a managed security services provider, VirtualArmor’s services run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year through its primary security operations center (“SOC”) located in Middlesbrough, U.K. and a secondary SOC located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Each member of VirtualArmor’s team supports the three main facets of its business: managed services, professional services, and hardware sales, by handling the design, configuration and installation of advanced network and cloud architecture solutions. VirtualArmor uses best-in-breed partnerships to provide solutions for customers that are affordable, highly reliable, scalable, and backed by thorough knowledge of the related technologies, products, and platforms. VirtualArmor has secured partnerships with established technology businesses specializing in network appliances, software, and systems and provides its services to the mid- to large- enterprise and service provider markets. VirtualArmor customers include a 13-location data center provider, a Fortune 100 oil and gas company, multiple service providers with presences throughout the United States, and household name enterprise organizations located primarily in the western United States. Further information about the Company is available under its profile on the SEDAR website, www.sedar.com, on the CSE website, www.thecse.com, and on its website,http://www.virtualarmor.com.
Company Contact:
Todd Kannegieter
President and CEO
Office: 720-961-3304
[email protected]
Investor Relations Contact:
Babak Pedram
Office: 416-644-5081
[email protected]
Forward-Looking Information:
This press release may include forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. The forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the management of VirtualArmor. Although VirtualArmor believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information as VirtualArmor cannot provide any assurance that it will prove to be correct. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and VirtualArmor disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.