Pandemic restrictions are finally easing in many parts of the world. But financial institutions across the board continue to feel the effects of remote and home working on their vulnerability to cyberattack, with incidents ranging from data breaches and stolen data, to disruption to key activities like trading, settlement and payments.
That’s bad news, since capital markets firms experienced a 40-fold increase in cyberattacks from February 2020 to April 2021, according to Wipro’s State of Cyber Security 2020 report. Wipro estimates that the average cost of each data breach is almost $6 million. It also reckons that more than 40% of black market data sold is stolen from the banking, financial services and insurance sector.
The increase in cybercrime against the finance sector coincided with the shift to remote work and subsequent reliance on dynamic collaboration and chat applications, says Marc Gilman, general counsel and VP of compliance at collaboration security and compliance solutions vendor Theta Lake. These collaboration tools present unique cybersecurity risks given the use of features for sharing, showing and sending information, he says.
“Since collaboration and chat platforms are increasingly used to facilitate external interactions – from prospecting and client conversations to support and trade execution – they expose firms and employees to increased risk of attack,” Gilman says.
Firms may face fines or litigation if an employee intentionally or inadvertently displays an account number, material non-public information about earnings, or the details of a pending transaction during a collaboration session.