Case Study | Banks and Financial Institutions

Banks and Financial Institutions are targeted by hackers in high-profile attempts to steal data or cause disruption. Banks rely heavily on trust to acquire and retain customers. This trust can easily be broken if the institution is infiltrated by hackers.

Recent Financial Institution Intrusions

NZ takes action over stock market cyber attacks – BBC
New Zealand’s communications security bureau has been called in to help after its stock exchange was hit by cyber attacks for the fourth consecutive day.
The exchange failed to open as planned on Friday due to so-called “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attacks.

Two-Thirds of Financial Services Firms Suffered Cyber-Attack in the Past Year – Infosecurity Magazine
Almost two-thirds (65%) of large financial services companies have suffered a cyber-attack in the past year, while 45% have experienced a rise in attack attempts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typical Targeted Vulnerabilities of Financial Institutions

Unintentional Insider Failures/Vulnerability

Financial institutions often have large staff pools that may not fully appreciate cybersecurity risks and can be vulnerable to unintentionally opening gateways to hackers.

Supply Chain Risks

There is a real and present risk of penetration through vendors of systems and other supply chain providers.

Gaps in Technology 

There may be a failure to secure gaps in a wide array of technology used in Banking or Financial Services.

Why are Banks and Financial Institutions Targeted?

  • data breaches can impact bank’s reputation which can have commercial effects
  • potential financial loss to the customers
  • consequences and penalties for non-compliance
  • customer’s data is sensitive

Case Study – Malaysian Bank

This financial institution was seeking compliance to Risk Management in Technology guidelines from their Central Bank. This is required of all financial institutions in that jurisdiction. The targeted timeline for delivery was 6 weeks.

  • Cybots provided Compromise Assessment services to evaluate the situation
  • Cybots deployed AI to review all 5,000+ machines in 6 weeks and found an additional 2,000+ machines through Shadow IT
  • AI unveiled in 6 weeks that more than 10% of their machines were infected
  • An AI enabled Incident Response Plan was generated in one day

Tight Timeline Requirement for Delivery Within 6 Weeks!

The Deployment of AI Unveiled a High (>10%) Number of Infected Machines

Implementation

Cybots was engaged to deploy a solution within the stringent timeline set by the client. Cybots was also required to ensure compliance to Central Bank guidelines on Risk Management on Technology.

The project started on Jan 4 2021 and was successfully completed on Feb 19 2021, within the expected timeline.

The project was also completed within the stipulated budget.

The AI used in Cybots Solutions played a critical role in complying with the Client’s requirements of speed and effectiveness.

The stringent timeline was particularly noteworthy and excelled in comparison with similar projects undertaken by other vendors.

Key Takeaways/Conclusion

Cybots was able to successfully deliver effective Solutions to meet a Client’s timeline requirements. The deployment was also critical in enabling the Bank to comply with the requirements of their Regulator.

As a result of the successful and timely deployment, the Client:

  • Appointed Cybots to phase 2 – activating an Incident Response Plan
  • Is considering progressing the engagement of Cybots to the provision of MDR services