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5 biggest cybersecurity threats for banks today

The banking industry has changed a lot over the past decade. Banks are more heavily invested in digitalization than ever before, and they’re dealing with higher volumes of data than ever before. That’s why it’s more important than ever that banks stay on top of their cybersecurity game. Here are five cyber threats to watch out for if you’re a bank owner or employee.

Phishing is a key concern in cybersecurity

Phishing is the most common form of cybercrime. It involves someone posing as a trusted source to trick you into giving them personal information or clicking on a malicious link. The goal is for criminals to gain access to your online banking account, so they can steal money, move money around and even pretend that they are you when using your bank account.

Phishing attacks come in many forms, including emails that appear as if they’re from legitimate businesses like PayPal or Amazon. They also may ask users for their login credentials on fake websites built by hackers. 

Other phishing emails may look like urgent messages from banks saying “your account has been compromised,” which asks recipients to click on a link to update their passwords or other sensitive information (like credit card numbers). Once someone clicks on the link, it could lead them straight into malware-infested websites explicitly designed for stealing this information from unsuspecting victims.”

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a form of cyber attack where multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system. These attacks can be used as a smokescreen to hide other forms of attack, such as ransomware or data theft. Some DDoS attackers may also be extorting money from companies by demanding payments for not launching attacks against them.

A DDoS attack can be launched by a single person using their computer, or a group of people can orchestrate it with the help of botnets. A botnet is an extensive collection of computers infected with malicious software that allows an attacker to control them remotely.

Malware and ransomware attacks

Both malware and ransomware are significant threats to banks. Malware is malicious software designed to steal personal information or money. Phishing emails are probably the most common way to spread malware, but they can also be installed when you click on links in emails or social media posts. In addition, if you have malware on your computer, it can lock up your computer until you pay a ransom (or “ransomware”) to regain control.

Ransomware can also be spread using unsecured wireless networks. If someone with malicious intent is nearby, they may be able to access your computer. The best way to prevent this is by locking your devices in a secure environment.

Elder financial abuse is a cybersecurity issue

A growing problem for the financial industry, elder financial abuse is a costly issue that poses risks to consumers and businesses alike. Financial institutions need to understand these threats and how they can help protect their customers from them.

Elder financial abuse occurs when someone uses undue influence or deception to get an older adult to give money or property away—or take out loans they can’t afford—without their consent. That may be done by friends, family members, caregivers, or strangers who gain access to confidential information that allows them access to bank accounts, credit cards, and other assets.

The first step in preventing elder financial abuse is identifying potential threats early so you can act quickly if necessary. To do this:

Assess your customer’s situation for signs of trouble (elderly customers can be at risk for identity theft). Check with family members about any recent changes in behavior or circumstances that might raise concerns about possible fraudulent activity involving your customer’s account(s).

Keep an eye out for unusual activities like:

  • Large withdrawals made at once instead of over time (which could indicate someone withdrawing funds before an account balance hits zero)
  • Multiple deposits into accounts from unfamiliar sources (this might mean someone else has access to your customer’s accounts)
  • Payments sent from one account directly into another without being withdrawn first (which could indicate someone transferring funds between two different accounts belonging under one name).

Third-party vendor risk

Third-party vendor risk is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats. Unfortunately, third-party vendors are often overlooked in cybersecurity, but providers can use them for a wide range of services—including payroll, IT services, and even accounting.

The risk is that third-party vendors could be hacked or have security issues that put your bank at risk. They may also access your data that you don’t want them to have — like personally identifiable information (PII).

Modern banks need to be aware of cybercrime risks.

Modern bank needs to be aware of cybercrime risks. Cybercrime is growing at an alarming rate, and it’s no longer just a risk for individuals; hackers are targeting banks too. As a result, cybersecurity is a growing concern for banks, as they need to protect themselves from data breaches and ransomware attacks to avoid losing money or information.


There is no doubt that the world of cybersecurity is rapidly changing, and banks need to be aware of these risks. With more sophisticated hackers on the prowl, banks need to stay up-to-date with their defenses and ensure they have the right tools to protect against these threats.