Financial institutions are the main target of cyberattacks

In the midst of the pandemic, attacks directed at the financial sector grew 238% worldwide, specifically during the period from February to April 2020. Ransomware attacks (data hijacking) against the financial sector increased 9 times, according to information from VMware Carbon Black on threats.

In Mexico, 100% of the financial entities and institutions consulted by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2018 said that they experienced some type of event related to digital attacks against them.

The report “State of cybersecurity in the Mexican financial system”, prepared by the OAS, revealed that the most common attacks are malicious code or malware with 56% incidence and targeted attacks to access the systems of entities, known as phishing with 47 percent.

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“There are attacks whose objective is to hijack information, they enter the systems through company collaborators, they infect the network and with that they begin to have access to all the information that exists in the entity, they encrypt the information, partially or totally. and then what happens is that you receive an email from the hacker demanding a ransom in cryptocurrencies”, commented Ricardo Alvarado, executive risk director of Lockton Mexico.

Mexico is an attractive target for cyber attacks in the absence of a solid and innovative regulatory framework, and effective programs for cyber defense are also lacking, according to Meta Q.

“Mexico represents a huge market with great potential for economic gains for cybercriminals,” it states in its report.

Financial institutions are attractive to cyberattackers because of the amount of third-party information in their possession, according to Alvarado.

“If you had access to the information of 5 million users of a bank, for example, you would obtain address, full name, social security number. That data can turn into identity theft, it doesn’t matter what ransom you ask for it, but how you can exploit the information”, says Alvarado.

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