Once again January has rolled around. With Christmas and New Year already feeling like a distant memory, thoughts turn to the year ahead for many people. 2016 was a busy year in cybersecurity terms, with the rise of ransomware, massive DDoS attacks from the zombified botnet-of-things and some of the biggest data breaches on record all rocking the threat landscape. With all of that having come to pass, it’s anyone’s guess what threats will emerge as 2017’s main areas of concern for businesses.
The financial sector stands as an old and favourite target for hackers – companies working in this field harbour a huge amount of sensitive personal data as is necessitated by their line of business. Add to that the fact financial organisations are by definition in the business of moving and holding money, positioning them as a potential pot-of-gold at the end of any black-hat hacker’s rainbow. It’s clear that one of the most prevalent challenges of 2017 will be ensuring these organisations are suitably defended against threats, as well as armed with the tools required to combat these threats in real time.
Cybercriminals are increasing the sophistication of their attacks day by day, as massive breaches like the 2016 cyber fraud incident at Tesco Bank attest to. In the aftermath of the targeted cyberattack, Tesco Bank faced reimbursing customers who had lost a total of around £2.5 million which was siphoned from 20,000 accounts.
Commissum are no strangers to the security challenges facing businesses in the financial sector. We’ve been providing services and advice to our financial clients for decades. Frank Green, our head of sales and marketing, is launching into 2017 with a new year’s resolution to redouble efforts to continue to do so going forward, starting with the Mutual Vision Cyber Conference at the DoubleTree Hilton in Manchester on 25th January 2017.
Frank will take to the stage this Burns’ Nicht, though rather than reciting a selection of the ploughman poet’s celebrated works he’ll be speaking about Commissum’s innovative, leading-edge penetration testing solutions which have been developed alongside our clients in the financial sector.
“Security is one area where it truly pays to prepare, with penetration testing allowing businesses to remediate vulnerabilities in their networks, while an incident response plan can minimise the damage of such eventualities as that which befell Tesco Bank in 2016 and enable a speedy recovery and return to normality following a cyber breach,” Frank said. You can read a taster of Frank’s full talk in the January 2017 issue of the Mortgage Finance Gazette ahead of the Mutual Vision Cyber Conference.
Robert Burns wrote “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley, an’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, for promis’d joy!” While he almost certainly wasn’t talking about cybersecurity when he wrote those oft-quoted lines back in the 1700s, that quote holds a strong message for businesses operating in 2017’s connected world: the benefits of our connected society can be great, but take too much comfort and fail to anticipate the risks inherent to connectivity and someone, somewhere will take advantage for their personal gain, be it as a result of complacency or simple oversight.