Millions Lost, Data Exposed: The Growing Threat on Financial Institutions

Cyberattacks are on the rise in the financial sector, causing significant financial losses and disruption.  According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the financial sector rank second, only behind healthcare, in cyber incident damage.  The average cost per attack for financial organizations is a staggering $5.9 million, exceeding the global average of $4.45 million.

 

The Threat of Ransomware

Globally, ransomware is the leading culprit behind financial service disruptions. This malicious software encrypts data, essentially holding it hostage until a ransom is paid to regain access.

 

Types of malwares in successful attacks on financial institutions (Q1–Q3 2023)

Source: Positive Technologies

 

On May 2023, a high-profile attack involved LockBit, a ransomware group, targeted BSI, a major Indonesian bank. The attack disrupted BSI’s branches operations and ATMs, with attackers demanding $20 million ransom. When the bank refused, they leaked a massive 1.5 TB of confidential data online.

CNA Financial Corp., a leading U.S. insurance company, paid a $40 million ransom in March 2021 to regain control of its network after a ransomware attack that encrypted its systems and compromised its data.

 

Key figures about ransomware in Financial Institutions

Source: Sophos

 

Beyond the Financial Toll: Disruption to Business Operations & Reputational Damages

The damage caused by cyberattacks goes far beyond immediate financial losses. Disruptions to services, delayed transactions, and locked-down operations can cripple a financial institution. The more critical the system attacked, the greater the operational cost.

But the impact goes deeper. Breaches cast doubt on the organization’s ability to safeguard sensitive information, potentially leading to customer churn. Negative media coverage further amplifies the damage, jeopardizing stakeholder confidence and market sentiment.

The value of customer trust is immeasurable. A tarnished reputation can have a long-term impact on brand value, market share, and even stock prices for publicly traded companies.

 

Building Cyber Resilience

Building cyber resilience is crucial for financial institutions to mitigate these risks. RayzSecurity, Rayzone Group’s cybersecurity division, offers a unique comprehensive Red Team exercise that simulates real-world attacks, assessing the digital security posture and mitigate vulnerabilities.

This exercise provides valuable insights and actionable recommendations for immediate remediation and long-term prevention. We are committed to helping organizations implement best practices and build a robust security posture to safeguard their institution, data, and customers.

 

Contact us today at info@rayzoneg.com and learn more about our Red Team exercise and how it can safeguard your financial institution.

Ransomware and Resilience: Protecting Critical Infrastructures in the Digital Age

In today’s interconnected world, one of the areas that are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks is critical infrastructure.

Critical infrastructure refers to the systems and assets that are essential to the functioning of a society and its economy, such as energy, transportation, healthcare, water supply, financial institutions and more. As technology advances, so do the vulnerabilities and threats that can jeopardize these essential systems. According to a recent study, in 2022, there was a 140% surge in high-impact attacks on critical infrastructure.

Let’s explore some of the more notable cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure in the recent years:

Colonial Oil, the largest pipeline in the US, was hit with a massive, targeted ransomware attackOn May 2021, Colonial Oil, the largest pipeline in the US, was hit with a massive, targeted ransomware attack.

The pipeline, which supplied over 45% of the East Coast’s gas, diesel, and jet fuel, was forced to shut down its operations entirely, causing fuel shortages across the eastern seaboard and states of emergency to be declared in four states. It took the pipeline 11 days to partially recover after the company ended up paying $5 million dollars in ransom.

 

Cyber Attack on Israeli Water SupplyIn April 2021, Israel suffered a cyberattack on their water facilities designed to spike chlorine and other chemicals to harmful levels into public water.

Had the attack been successful, civilians would further overload hospitals, farmers would destroy their crops, and further implications would ravage the country during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic.

 

cyberattack at the Oldsmar water treatment facility in FloridaEarlier In 2021, the United States experienced a similar cyberattack at the Oldsmar water treatment facility in Florida.

Unlike the attack on in Israel, this attack was successful. The unknown hacker managed to raise the lye content in the water supply from 100 parts per million (ppm) to 11,100 ppm! Thankfully, before any damage was done, an engineer noticed this substantial increase and decreased the lye count back to its normal level.

 

One of the most potentially dangerous cyberattacks on industrial infrastructure - the Triton Malware AttackOne of the most potentially dangerous cyberattacks on industrial infrastructure – the Triton Malware Attack.

The Triton Malware Attack nearly caused a massive explosion. It was discovered in a Saudi petrochemical plant and allowed hackers to take over the plant’s safety systems. According to an FBI warning, the Triton malware remains a threat to the global energy sector even today, 5 years after the incident.

 

KillNet Cyber Attack on hospitalsKillNet, a pro-Russian group, has led several sustained DDoS attacks at Ukrainian allies since the start of the conflict.

More recently, they hit numerous European hospitals, including the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands with massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, crashing their websites. They have also taken down Lithuania’s power grid, and struck over a dozen US airports, canceling flights and disrupting operators.

 

Protecting Critical Infrastructures from Cyber Threats

Given the high stakes, safeguarding critical infrastructures from cyber threats is a top priority! It is not an option but a necessity to ensure public safety, economic stability, and national security. The proactive adoption of robust cybersecurity measures, combined with collaboration and continuous alerts, is essential against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Critifence provides unique cyber security solutions designed for critical infrastructure, SCADA and Industrial Control Systems which allow to passively monitor and control OT networks.

The SCADADome XDR Platform (SXP) is a new generation of cyber security technology that provides a multilayered defense ability designed to correlate between operation and security teams of the OT and IT networks, using different techniques such as machine-process learning, anomaly detection and hybrid data sources.

Critifence SCADADome XDR Platform (SXP)

 

We are here to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need! Contact us at info@rayzoneg.com and let us know how we can help.

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE?

CONTACT US