2020’s Top Cyber Threats in Banking

CSI, a leading provider of fintech solutions, recently polled banking executives from around the country, representing 227 financial institutions from across the asset-size spectrum to uncover their top strategies for the coming year. The data from this survey was then collected and used to create an executive report to help bankers get a pulse on the industry’s hot topics and strategies.

According to the survey, bankers seem ready for cyber threats, rating themselves 3.7/5 in cybersecurity readiness.

While it’s encouraging that institutions feel so confident about their cybersecurity readiness, at the same time, it’s concerning. Experts warn that, as fast as institutions get a grip on the latest hacking techniques and install preventative measures, cyber criminals adjust and adapt.

Assessing 2020’s Top Cybersecurity Threats

The 2020 Banking Priorities Survey delved deep into cybersecurity threats to gauge bankers’ understanding of this continuously evolving risk and asked what is the greatest cybersecurity threat to your bank in 2020?

  • Social Engineering: This was the clear winner, with 41% of bankers ranking it highest. This tracks with the enduring popularity of social engineering with hackers, for the ease with which it consistently preys on human emotion to gain access to financial systems and data.
  • Third-party Data Breaches and Ransomware: At 21% and 20%, respectively, these threats followed social engineering, with no other threats eliciting a significant reaction. The best ways to combat these threats are conducting sound due diligence on vendor cybersecurity readiness and frequently backing up data.

Preventing Cybersecurity Threats

Further, the survey asked which cybersecurity prevention tactics bankers would leverage in 2020, a question allowing bankers to choose multiple answers. The result? Cybersecurity readiness comes in many forms, and most bankers use a wide array of tactics in the fight.

  • Employee and Board Training: Eight in 10 will use workforce education and awareness to reduce risk.
  • Cybersecurity Risk Assessments: About seven in 10 will use this exercise to enhance their cybersecurity readiness.
  • Additional Tactics: Between six and seven in 10 will use the following:
    • Penetration Testing: 69%
    • Customer Cybersecurity Awareness Programs: 69%
    • Multi-factor Authentication: 67%
    • Vulnerability Assessments: 65%
    • Anti-malware Software: 61%
  • Cyber Insurance: Although financial institutions will find it invaluable in the event of a cybersecurity breach, as many general liability policies exclude cyber incidents, only half (50%) of respondents plan to purchase cyber insurance.

Cybersecurity Spending

Finally, how much will banks spend on cybersecurity as a percentage of their overall budget?

  • A significant majority (59%) will increase cybersecurity spending, and 99% will either increase it or keep it at the same level this year.

Download the Full Executive Report

Get a full breakdown of the data from the survey, including insight on compliance, technology, talent acquisition and cybersecurity, by downloading the full Banking Priorities 2020 Executive Report.