The financial sector is about 300 times more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than other sectors. Data breaches lead to a lack of trust among their customers. It is therefore important for the banking industry to put extra effort into their security testing. By conducting regular security checks, banks can identify and fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
History of banking
The first banks already go back to the time when the first currencies were minted, around 2000 BC. People needed a place to store their money whereas societies needed a functional system to facilitate trade and collect taxes. Banking started to play a crucial role in the economic stability of countries. Banks became the most important components for managing financial transactions of individuals and businesses.
In the recent decades, the banking sector is experiencing a rapid change in ecosystem with the rise of digital technologies. Digital transformation aims to integrate computer technologies into an organization’s business processes and strategies. All of this to enhance customer experience and increase operational efficiency. The objective is to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, reduce costs and risks, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Cybercrime in banking
However, the growth of digital banking also implied more opportunities for cybercrime to happen. According to research, the financial sector is 300 times more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than any other. Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities. That is why security testing is vital for the banking industry to identify and resolve security issues.
Security testing in banking
The banking sector is highly regulated and must follow strict security standards. As such, several types of testing are crucial in ensuring security. Some examples of testing techniques include:
- Application security testing
The process, practices, and tools used to identify, repair, and protect against vulnerabilities in applications (Web/API)
- Network security testing
Involves testing the security of a bank's network infrastructure, including firewalls, routers, and switches, to identify any potential weaknesses
- Data security testing
Used to verify the security of data at rest and in transit, including encryption and access controls
- Penetration testing
Simulating a real-world attack on the system to identify vulnerabilities and test the effectiveness of security controls
At Brightest we strongly emphasize the importance of these types of security testing. They all have their specific approach, tools to use, expertise, etc. For this we also keep a close connection with the OWASP (Open Worldwide Application Security Project), an international organization dedicated to cyber security. OWASP lists the most critical security risks based on the extensive knowledge and experience of security experts around the world. Risks are ranked according to frequency, severity and impact.
Next to this, there is also phishing to consider. Phishing is a type of online scam where a fraudulent message or mail is sent that appears to come from a legal institution. Its goal is retrieving sensitive information like login credentials, credit card numbers, etc. Around 91% of successful data breaches started with a phishing attack.
With our partner KnowBe4, we build customized phishing simulations that are sent to company employees. Statistics can be consulted on the number of staff members that opened a simulated phishing mail and clicked any links in it. Security training and awareness info is provided to all employees on a regular basis.
Since there is a lot of money going around in banks, they will always be a target for hackers. For the banking industry, credibility and trust are the cornerstones. A data breach could easily lead their customer base to move their business elsewhere. By conducting regular security checks, banks can identify and fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited.