Smaller financial institutions increasingly cyber-targeted

Since 2012, the target size of hacked financial institutions has dropped 28%

Smaller financial institutions increasingly cyber-targeted


By Sam Boyer

Financial institutions need to stay protected, because criminals are never going to stop targeting them.  Indeed online now, more than ever, criminals are trying to hack data, figures show - and it’s the smaller financial institutions that are increasingly at risk.

According to Nationwide data, from 2015 to 2016, financial institutions experienced a 40% increase in malicious data breaches and a whopping 68% rise in network disruptions. And though 53% of breaches in the past five years have affected the larger financial institutions, hackers are now targeting small companies too. Since 2012, the target size of hacked financial institutions has dropped 28%.

Tim Nunziata, director of cyber and professional liability at Nationwide, said financial institutions of all sizes needed to be cyber-vigilant.

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“Speaking to cyber and E&O claims, I think people when they think about it they think of Target and Home Depot [both suffered massive data hacks in 2013 and 2014 respectively], but the fact is the growing area of claims is in the smaller companies. We’re starting to see these smaller institutions being targeted,” he said.

“We’re seeing an increase in data breaches in smaller financial institutions across the board. They’re maybe not getting as many headlines, but they’re certainly driving trends.”

The breaches, or hacks, are being perpetrated for a wide range of criminal enterprises, Nunziata said.

“It’s a whole slew of security breaches – there’s the malicious data breaches, privacy, unauthorized contact, unintentional disclosure… Everybody knows the world is getting smaller, everyone is gathering more and more information, and it’s just creating more and more opportunities for there to be a potential issue – whether it’s a breach or a security privacy issue.”

Related stories:
Two thirds of financial organizations have had cyberattack in last year – report
Hacking attacks could have breached more banks than previously thought

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