Coronavirus and Banks: The Changing Threat Landscape 

A young lady accesses an ATM while taking precautions due to Coronavirus.

What do coronavirus and banks have in common you ask? Well, banks are no stranger to cyberattacks. And due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of these attacks will continue evolving. This evolution poses a problem—not only must banks fend off past threats, but they must also look toward and prevent future attacks.  

As we start preparing for a post-COVID-19 world, here’s an overview of attacks you need to know about: 

Threats Pre-COVID 19 

In the past, man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks were the financial sector’s biggest threats. Man-in-the-middle attacks occurred 12% more often than in other organizations, and phishing attacks were even more common. In order to curb these threats, many organizations invested in MFA, end-to-end encryption, and employee training and testing. And while these measures remain essential, they aren’t enough to prevent the new onslaught of attacks.  

The Current Threat Landscape 

In order to adapt to the new WFH environment, numerous institutions have turned to digital banking. While this is a good step financially—arguably, a necessary one—it also increases your risk of a cyberattack. Already, hackers were able to target your bank through Wi-Fi and emails. But now, they also have access to your company via web conferences, and they can target you with specialized COVID-19 messaging. For example, the CARES stimulus package recently made loans available for small businesses; a hacker could easily draft an email about these loans. And since you’re expecting an update about them, it wouldn’t be too surprising if you clicked such an email, thus exposing the rest of your company to the hacker.  

In short, new technologies will help keep your business afloat, and they’ll allow you to emerge on the other side of this pandemic. But their usage presents a catch-22: if you don’t properly secure your tech, it could become the very thing that causes your bank to shutter. 

Preparing for the Future 

It’s a given that the current pandemic will cause numerous banks to close their doors, at least temporarily. Obviously, this is unfortunate for all those affected. But even those banks that remain open will face challenges—because the less banks there are to attack, the more likely your own will be targeted. Thus, in addition to preparing for new types of attacks, you’ll also want to prepare for a higher number of attacks. And in order to fend off these attacks, employee training and testing is once again key, as is partnering with an MSP, or Managed Service Provider. An MSP won’t just set you up with technology—it will also advise you against current threats and suggest ways to fortify your tech against them. 

Banks have always required cybersecurity, but the need today is greater than ever before. And looking forward, that need will remain a crucial component of the financial sector. As banks continue to add new technologies, their efficiency and customer service will drastically improve. However, they’ll also be opening themselves up to new, malicious attacks. But with the help of an MSP, these banks can prepare for evolving cyberthreats and fortify against new attacks.

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