Universally, consumers and small and large businesses alike, are increasingly aware of the well-established fact that cybercrime is on the rise. Last year, 4iQ discovered nearly 15 billion identity records that had been stolen from companies and were circulating the deep and dark web, including 3.6 billion new and verified records. There were also over 12,000 identity breaches, more than four times as many as the previous year. While high-profile data breaches such as Facebook and Equifax may be stealing headlines on the basis of endangering consumer privacy, the untold story is that the businesses that employ those consumers also suffer huge expansions in their risk profiles after such events. And arguably, the industry that truly faces the most danger is the financial services industry.

It’s no secret that over 25 percent of all malware attacks target the banking and financial services sector, more than any other industry. The number of compromised credit cards increased 212 percent in 2019 compared with the prior year, while credential leaks rose 129 percent and instances of malicious apps increased 102 percent – staggering numbers for a single year. Cyber criminals target financial services companies by using trojans to steal banking information and download data, and also use ATM malware to steal credit and debit card information. Recently, in Mexico, ransomware was used to devastating effect on their major financial institutions. In February, a UK-based bank became the first public victim of SMS verification code interception. Cybercriminals exploited flaws in the SS7 telecommunications protocol to intercept messages authorizing payments from accounts. And criminals also can still leverage older methods such as DDoS attacks and phishing against the least prepared companies.

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