Thales: Data breaches at US financial services businesses on the rise

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Anton Jacobsz, CEO at Networks Unlimited Africa.
Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited.
Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited.

Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, has released a report noting that 42 percent of US financial services organisations have experienced a security breach in the past.

According to its 2017 Data Threat Report, Financial Services Edition, which was issued in conjunction with 451 Research, the report further noted that 12 percent were victims of multiple data breaches.

Other top findings from the report include the following facts:

• 78 percent of respondents will increase their IT security spending.
• Privileged users are the top internal data-security threat as selected by 61 percent of respondents, followed by executive staff (40 percent).
• When it comes to external threats, cyber-criminals are number one (52 percent), followed by cyber-terrorists (18 percent) and nation-states (14 percent).
• A substantial majority (84 percent) of respondents reported the use of IoT technologies this year.

The report explains that, as the primary repositories and channels of the world’s financial data, financial services organisations are an ongoing target for cybercriminals, adding that the figures paint a picture of an industry contending with a more aggressive threat landscape.

For example, 24 percent of organisations experienced a breach in the past year – a number that jumped from 19 percent in 2016. Of the respondents surveyed, 86 percent also believe their organisations are vulnerable to data threats.

Anton Jacobsz, managing director at African value-added distributor Networks Unlimited, which recently signed a partnership agreement with Thales, notes that while South Africa has a global reputation for its excellent financial services organisations, no country’s financial services industry can afford to be complacent.

“The Thales advanced data security portfolio offers another layer of cybersecurity, namely encryption of structured and unstructured data, at rest or in motion. Encryption has a vital role to play in the protection and management of data, as well as meeting the requirements of regulatory compliance.”

When it comes to best practices and recommendations, Thales advocates the following for financial services organisations that are seeking ways to securely meet compliance requirements and adopt advanced technologies:

• Select data security platforms that address a variety of use cases, emphasise ease-of-use, and offer encryption, enterprise key management, access control and security intelligence to avoid the intricacy and high costs of implementing multiple data-security solutions;
• Invest in security tools that include automation to reduce complexity; and
• Implement security analytics and multi-factor authentication solutions to help identify threatening patterns of data use.

Staff Writer