2019 Press Releases

March 07, 2019

‘Modern Bank Heists’ Threat Report Finds Increase in Cyber attacks Targeting Surveyed Financial Institutions

A threat report by Carbon Black, a leader in cloud delivered, next-generation endpoint security, and  Optiv Security, one of the world’s leading security solutions integrators, on the financial sector: Modern Bank Heists: The Bank Robbery Shifts to Cyberspace.  The report found that 67% of financial organizations surveyed have reported an increase in cyberattacks over the past 12 months, while destructive attacks have increased 160% over the past year.

“Financial institutions are grappling with some of the most sophisticated cyber crime syndicates,” said Tom Kellermann, the report’s author and Chief Cybersecurity Officer at Carbon Black. “Perhaps the most concerning indication from this report is the stark increase in destructive attacks, which are rarely conducted for financial gain. Rather, these attacks are launched to be punitive by destroying data. Cybercriminals have formed sophisticated approaches to gain access to confidential banking and financial information and organizations need to be aware of the impending threats.”

For the report, Carbon Black collaborated with Optiv Security to survey financial industry customers to uncover cyberattack trends seen by some of the world’s leading CISOs to better determine how today’s sophisticated cybercriminals are hiding behind invisibility cloaks to remain undetected.
Among the key findings from the report:

  • 67% of surveyed financial organizations have reported an increase in cyberattacks over the past 12 months

  • 79% of surveyed financial institutions said cybercriminals have become more sophisticated

  • 26% of surveyed financial institutions were targeted by destructive attacks, a 160% increase over 2018

  • 32% of surveyed financial institutions encountered island hopping through supply chain vendors and partners

  • 21% of surveyed financial institutions experienced a watering hole attack, where sites are hijacked and visitors’ are misled to malicious pages

“As threat actors continue to grow in sophistication and determination, it is imperative now more than ever for security leaders to evaluate their digital footprint from the perspective of the enemy,” said Bill Young, Vice President Threat Management, Optiv. “By using an inside-out approach to cybersecurity – starting with risk mitigation and building out from there with strategy, infrastructure rationalization, operations optimization and ongoing measurement – we believe financial institutions can close vulnerability gaps and respond to new threats in systematic ways. The time and cost involved in adopting a comprehensive inside-out cybersecurity approach to gain an understanding of threat actor intent, and employing offensive security policies to close security gaps, is a small price to pay.”
The report, available for download on Carbon Black’s website, takes a look at some of the key attack types financial institutions are encountering, including Emotet, steganography and Hidden Cobra.