NEW DELHI: India has become the new Asian hotspot for cyber-attacks, whether against nationalized banks, cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets, NBFCs, or credit card data thefts.
According to a recent report by Singapore headquartered cyber security firm CloudSEK, the Banking Finance Services and Insurance (BFSI) industry is the most profitable one for hackers and cybercriminals.
Cybersecurity research platform CloudSEK reported 283 occurrences in the first half of 2022 as opposed to 469 events in 2021.
“Our data suggest that cyberattacks on the BFSI industry have expanded tremendously,” CloudSEK researchers claimed.
The financial year 2021–2022, which saw a significant paradigm shift in the most targeted region from North America to Asia, the Pacific, and Europe, saw almost 10% of the documented cyber events targeted at this industry.
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India Most Attacked Country In India
The majority of the cyber events in 2021 and 2022 were focused differently, according to CloudSEK’s data. While targeting global financial organizations and North America with equal fervour in 2021, there was a noticeable change in focus towards Asia in 2022. The Middle East, South America, and Europe have all seen an increase in incidents in 2022.
India, Brazil, and the US remained the top three countries in the BFSI industry despite fluctuations in the number of assaults on particular countries (in 2021 and 2022).
In the BFSI sector, the US experienced twice as many cyber incidents in 2021 and 2022 than any other nation.
In terms of attacks directed at Asia, India has been at the forefront. In 2022, the Indian subcontinent was the target of 7.4% of such attacks. India has become the new Asian hotspot for cyberattacks, whether nationalized banks, cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets, NBFCs, or credit card data thefts.
It can be related to the COVID-19 pandemic’s acceleration of the developing digitalization and online banking industries.
“Any risks to the banking and financial sector have a ripple impact on a nation’s overall economic growth. Not to mention the extensive phishing attacks that might start when Personal Identifying Information is made available (PII),” according to CloudSEK.
“Targeting the weakest links in the chain is done using these advanced Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) and mutating attacks. To avoid becoming a pawn in these organized criminal operations, a global wake-up call is urgently needed,” CloudSEK stated.
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Who Is At Fault?
Threats to the banking industry have grown more quickly thanks to digitalization and widely available banking services. Threat actors now have unparalleled access to the sector thanks to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries’ unprecedented and rapid expansion.
This, together with more recent and improved phishing techniques, has made it possible to target the banking sector with fresh and enhanced TTP.
Another dangerous aspect of the banking and finance industry is the dispersed character of stakeholders. Threats to this industry can lead to major loss of customer data and financial resources, not to mention the reputational impact to the compromised organization since the public’s knowledge of their vulnerabilities discourages them from luring new customers. It may occasionally also lead to data corruption and disruption of operations.
Different Types Of Attacks
The two main attack types against this industry were data breaches and digital banking threats, with data breaches accounting for more than half of all reported occurrences in both years (2021 and 2022).
The majority of threats to digital banking, which comprised selling, buying, compromising, and bypassing access to various digital payment systems, banking accounts, and digital wallets, made up about 20% of all recorded events (crypto or otherwise).
Credit card-based attacks were another significant threat, accounting for 15% of the reported incidents.
This shows threat actors’ rising interest in exploiting financial resources to disadvantage targets, according to the CloudSEK report.
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In 2022, the percentage of cyberattacks in this industry that were malware-based was roughly 18%. The most common attack vectors used by cybercriminals to target this sector include Trojans, Ransomware, Botnets, and Info Stealers.
Cybercriminals have created a variation known as Malware-as-a-Service, inspired by the Business-as-a-Service (BaaS) model’s simplicity of use (MaaS).
It is essential to create stronger and more responsive preventive measures to safeguard this industry from any future assaults given the increased sophistication of the tactics and malware used to target it.
Implementing strong password policies is one precaution that financial institutions and related government agencies can take. Other strategies include:
● running ongoing security awareness initiatives
● activating multi-factor authentication
● keeping an eye on the logs
● banning unauthorized IP addresses.
By keeping up with current financial scams in the news, practicing safety precautions like never disclosing your OTP or ATM pin with anybody, and avoiding clicking on shady emails, texts, and links, banking customers may protect themselves from cyber risks.
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