No industry is safe when it comes to cyberattacks, but the financial services sector is increasingly becoming a primary target for cybercriminals. According to Boston Consulting Group research, financial services firms experience up to 300 times as many cyberattacks per year compared to those in other industries.

This unique challenge that financial firms face is now exacerbated especially as cybercriminals become more determined and sophisticated in their attack methods. In Singapore, 64% of financial services organisations witnessed significantly more sophisticated cyberattacks over the last 12 months, while 62% had seen more than a 50% increase in attack frequency, based on recent research we conducted at VMware Carbon Black.

The dramatic advancement of attacks against the financial industry can be attributed to three key factors: First, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work remotely, further widening the attack surface and making them easier targets. Second, cybercrime syndicates have in recent years been adopting newer attack methodologies, which traditional cybersecurity controls cannot defend against. Lastly, cybercriminals are, in some cases, being seen as patriots by their respective nations and acting as nefarious “cyber Robin Hoods”.

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