Cyber Threats Mount

Terry Flanagan

Financial institutions are girding themselves against a growing arsenal of cyber security threats. Cyber risk represents a systemic threat to global financial institutions, with 84% of respondents identifying cyber risk as one of their top five concerns, an increase of 25 percentage points since March 2014, according to Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s Systemic Risk Barometer survey.

The survey highlights the importance of greater information sharing and closer collaboration between the public and private sectors in combating cyber-crimes.

“Criminals continue to increase their agility and inventiveness in how they get into networks e.g. leveraging the internet of things to acquire data,” Jim Anderson, president of the Americas for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, told Markets Media. ”The economics of committing the crime still outweigh the return on investment many people associate with stopping the crime.”

Mobility has greatly increased the threat surface and made some legacy defense technologies and strategies essentially obsolete.

“The first thing organizations are doing is moving away from only using legacy technology that is perimeter based to incorporating next generation technology such as end point protection, behavioral based analytics and threat intelligence tools,” said Anderson.

Second, companies are more focused on acquiring threat intelligence and sharing it with peers (e.g. FS-ISAC and DTCC partnering to increase threat awareness across the industry), Anderson said.

The DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer was launched by DTCC to assess and measure the financial industry’s sentiment on significant and emerging trends that impact the safety, resiliency and continued sustainability of the global financial system.

The most recent Systemic Risk Barometer survey was completed in the third quarter of 2014 by a total of 202 respondents, including DTCC clients and a broad range of global stakeholders from the financial services industry.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that the probability of a high-impact event in the global financial system has increased during the past 6 months – up 16 points since the last survey was conducted in March 2014; 64% of respondents cite the impact of new regulations as a top five concern and 62% identified geopolitical risk as a top five concern; and 76% of all respondents indicated they have increased the amount of resources dedicated to identifying, monitoring and mitigating systemic risks over the past year.

“No institution – large or small, public or private – is immune to a potential cyber-attack,” said Mark Clancy, DTCC corporate information security Officer and CEO of Soltra, in a release. “All of us need to become agile in response to these rapidly evolving threats by being able to share information about attackers’ activities between multiple stakeholders and shifting the model from individual institution’s static defenses to dynamic community responses. This shift requires both the maturation of operational capabilities and public policy frameworks to be successful.”

DTCC and The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) recently launched Soltra to facilitate sharing of information on cyber-attacks among critical infrastructure companies in real time.

Featured image via iStock

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