Why financial institutions need an integrated cyber and fraud approach

"Increased sophistication of cyber criminals is relentless and as they become more creative, they are finding new and increasingly invasive ways to target companies."

Financial institutions are constantly under threat as digital criminals are becoming more agile and resourceful than ever, launching increasingly targeted attacks that are often harder to pinpoint and require a whole-of-business response.

As well as stealing money and information, they often aim to disrupt business continuity, security and financial risk management.

“The increased sophistication of cyber criminals is relentless and as they become more creative, they are finding new and increasingly invasive ways to target companies,” says Sanjay Samuel, Head of Financial Crime Asia Pacific, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

“These invasive techniques often go undetected due to the separation of cyber and fraud teams in companies.

“This silo approach, with teams working in isolation, makes it challenging to address cyber threats, as teams are looking at different aspects of the same problem and yet aren’t sharing information.”

For example, Samuel says that when it comes to collecting and analysing data, fraud detection teams often focus on financial transactions, while the cyber defence team conducts analysis on the data from information systems.

“Ideally, these teams should work together to fight the onslaught of cyber crime,” he adds.

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has identified three key steps financial institutions should take to fight the threat of cyber attacks and fraud:

1. Awareness:

:Financial institutions need to recognise that cyber security has shifted from an IT issue to a business issue and take a converged view,” Samuel adds.

“This will ensure internal and external intelligence are brought together, and that cyber indicators are integrated with fraud systems.”

2. Collaboration:

“If financial institutions share more fraud and cyber threat intelligence and prevention techniques, they will become better-equipped to prevent attacks,” Samuel adds.

“Coalitions and partnerships between organisations are crucial.”

3. Unison:

“By unifying certain processes, such as case management and alerting processes, from cyber and fraud teams, financial institutions will have the support they need to combat digital criminals,” Samuel adds.

“This will ensure efficient and effective monitoring on both the cyber attack and fraud fronts.”

According to Samuel, financial institutions have the best chance of preventing cyber attacks when they have a full view of cyber and fraud risks, and use this intelligence as part of an integrated counter-fraud and cyber security approach.

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