NTT report: Financial sector bears brunt of cyber threat

Research published today on the growing cyber threat shows the financial sector as the number one target, knocking business and professional services off the top spot. The finance industry in EMEA experienced a sizeable increase in web attacks, almost doubling from 22% to 43% over the last year, underlining its growing vulnerability.

NTT Data’s 2019 Global Threat Intelligence Report analyses threat trends based on trillions of logs and billions of attacks, incidents and vulnerability data across 18 industry sectors from NTT Group operating companies. The annual report shows that the financial sector is the most attacked industry sector in EMEA, accounting for 30% of all attacks (and 17% globally).

Also in the list of the four most attacked industries in EMEA are business and professional services (24%), technology (17%) and manufacturing (9%). Web application attacks are largely to blame, accounting for over 43% of hostile activity against these sectors, which is well above the global average of 32%.

Looking at the figures in the context of day-to-day business, senior vice-president at NTT Security EMEA, Kai Grunwitz says he is particularly concerned about the the number of financial sector firms moving forward with digital transformation but without security built in. "While legacy methods and tools are still quite effective at providing a solid foundation for mitigation, new attack methods are constantly being developed by malicious actors. Security leaders should ensure basic controls remain effective, but they must also embrace innovative solutions if they provide a good fit and true value," he explains.

Grunwitz says he is not surprised that the most prevalent activity in EMEA over the course of the last year was related to web apps. "These attacks most often rely on leveraging an exposed unpatched vulnerability or misconfigured system, targeting organisations with high volumes of sensitive data. The consequences could be devastating as it could be used for financial gain, industry superiority or corporate espionage," he says.

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