More than half of FS firms invest in cyber security amid COVID-19

More than half of financial services firms are moving resources towards cyber security technology in the wake of COVID-19, according to new research.

A survey of 1,077 IT business and security decision-makers from the UK and eight other countries, for IT automation and security company Infoblox, found that attempted cyber attacks had risen by 41 per cent as cyber criminals sought to exploit Coronavirus-related disruption.

In the banking and finance industry, 27 per cent said they were ‘very prepared’ and 55 per cent said they were ‘somewhat prepared’ when it came to having the right technology or cyber security in place for employees to work from home as Coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed.

A further 70 per cent of banking and finance organisations reported catching phishing and social engineering attacks, and more than half (57 per cent) said they saw malware exploits targeting the edge of their networks.

The report also found that a majority (56 per cent) said they had experienced unknown devices attempting to connect to the network and 38 per cent reported DNS/network traffic hijacking.

A total of 39 per cent of banking and finance organisations have already changed their cyber security plan for when employees return to work, while 48 per cent are in the planning stages.

In the banking and finance industry, 40 per cent of organisations are currently re-evaluating their cloud strategy, while 54 per cent have already invested significantly in cloud-managed services.

When it came to technology investment, cloud-managed DDI (58 per cent), DNS security (58 per cent) and VPNs (65 per cent) were the top three organisations are planning to explore to facilitate secure remote-working.

The crisis will also have a long-term impact on the financial services employees, with 45 per cent of organisations in the banking and finance saying that over half of their workforce will continue to work from home after restrictions are lifted.

“The sudden jump in the need to work from home did not catch businesses around the world flatfooted," read the Infoblox report. "An overwhelming majority of surveyed businesses report being at least somewhat prepared when it came to having the right technology or cybersecurity in place for their employees to work remotely."

It added that distributing approved devices, building network infrastructure and securing users’ network activity were the biggest tech-related challenges organisations faced in transitioning to work from home.

"However, the relative challenges they posed differed among surveyed countries - in the US and the UK, securing network activity was the biggest challenge, followed by the distribution of approved devices.”

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