While analyzing the supply chain associated with the financial sector, it is evident that obsolete software modules and machines can eventually lead to security threats. One out of five financial services firms face issues regarding older versions of Windows OS. Having outdated versions of an OS means that patches aren’t available and the organization is vulnerable to newer security threats. There are multiple instances of financial enterprises running unsupported versions of OS on their servers. Webserver services like Windows IIS and Apache can also easily render the servers highly vulnerable to the exploits.
The frequency of cyber threats has increased over the years with numerous malicious incidents reported daily. Most of the times, it is the outdated systems that cripple the IT security networks and open doors for newer security risks. Due to the cost and effort required to change IT systems in financial sector, many financial institutions specially banks often do not want to take the effort of updating their legacy systems or upgrading to newer operating systems. This leads to them running older machines with unpatched software which in turn leads to higher risk of cyber-attacks. Further, with majority of financial institutions opting for online E-commerce setups it becomes easier for the cybercriminals to barge into the consumer and retail databases.
Security Issues on the Loose
As mentioned previously, outdated vendor systems can lead to a host of security issues, related to the financial organizations. A few are mentioned here:
1. Account Takeovers
Cyber criminals can easily exploit the financial details of an organization by breaking into the concerned databases. Outdated vendor systems allow hackers to compromise the account credentials, which in turn leads to counterfeiting, fraudulent transfers and a host of other security issues. The most obvious attack vector, in this case, happens to be the influx of phishing emails carrying infected files or links to infected websites.
2. Processor Breaches
Large payment avenues are often targeted by these cybercriminals who prefer stealing personally identifiable information. Breaching into the payment processors allows hackers to access the internal codes, card expiration dates, CVV number and credit card details.
3. Market Trading and Securities Exploitation
Within the financial sector, brokerage firms are the prime targets for cybercrime. Hackers can gain unsolicited access to securities; thereby causing unauthorized trading and market manipulation. However, there are times when the cybercriminals don’t directly attack the brokerage firms but try gaining the personal details for initiating a ransomware threat.
4. ATM Skimming
ATM skimming comes in as another catastrophic security issue in the financial sector. With technologies related to skimming, improving with each passing day, it becomes important that enterprises update their vendor systems for keeping up with the malicious parties. Moreover, Point of Sale terminals are also at risk with outdated vendor systems at the helm.
5. Insider Access
Majority of financial institutions are plagued by insider threats which compromise system integrity and reliability of existing IT networks. This issue crops up due to non-administrated privileged access which eventually attracts criminals and a host of security incidents. Outdated systems often miss out on regularly checking the associated privileges of the users.
6. Network Disruption
Outdated vendor systems often show up with compromised network performances. Telecommunication disruption negatively impacts the functionality and reliability of the existing financial players. Network infrastructure is an essential element in assessing the performance of a financial organization. Any disruption to the same, not only impacts business negatively but also increases other associated vulnerabilities.
Mitigating Cybersecurity Issues
Cybersecurity issues related to the financial sector can be mitigated if organizations deploy functional and updated security services. While outdated vendors show up with obsolete versions of OS and redundant security measures, a functional service provider like Seqrite comes forth with an exceptional UTM solution for offering a cohesive layer of security to the enterprises. Moreover, Seqrite also offers EPS solutions for minimizing the existing entry-points which are actually detrimental to the overall health of a financial organization. These products thrive on scalability and functionality; offering specialized features like advanced DNA scanning and behavioral detection options for robust security.