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Hackers Are Targeting the Financial Industry: Tips for Protecting Your Critical Applications 

Hackers Are Targeting the Financial Industry: Tips for Protecting Your Critical Applications 

Did you know? The financial industry faces a 300x greater risk of cyberattack than any other sector. While this figure is scary enough, it’s just a start: 

  • The average annualized cost of cybercrime for financial services has increased to $18.5 million globally. This number is the highest of all industries and more than 40% higher than the average cost of $13 million per firm across all industries.1
  • Only one-third (34%) of firms are deploying automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to help combat cyber threats. When these technologies are fully deployed, they deliver high cost savings for an organization’s security efforts.2
  • Financial services firms are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of new technologies and, as a result, it’s difficult for them to make investments that increase their operational efficiencies.
  • Cybercrime costs the world economy more than $1 trillion per year. That's roughly one percent of the global GDP. And 23% of all attacks target the financial sector.3

Why is the financial industry so vulnerable? Simply put, because hackers focus primarily on stealing sensitive data to gain a financial advantage. And the financial industry is all about sensitive data. Not only is the frequency of attack higher, but so are the consequences. As a result of stringent regulation and compliance requirements, the cost to address and contain cyberattacks is greater for financial services than any other industry.4

Another challenge for the industry is the increasing number of technologies and interfaces used. From a customer perspective, each new technology is of course very convenient: credit cards, mobile banking, chatbots, etc. But, with the interconnectivity of each new technology, the banking and payment system becomes more complex and more vulnerable.


Figure 1: The implementation and adoption of technology within the banking and payment sector.


At the center of all this are your crown jewels, your business-critical applications like SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce that run ERP, CRM, PLM, HCM, SCM, BI, and more. These applications are the backbone of businesses, containing processes and data. Over the last few years, we’ve seen extensive changes in the way we do business due to rapid cloud migration and digitization. While many businesses focused on getting up and running in a remote world, security was often left on the backburner, creating new attack vectors and interconnected risk. 

Onapsis Research Labs has found evidence of threat actors actively targeting unprotected and unpatched SAP applications. Protecting your organization’s most critical applications is imperative.

To learn how to secure your IT systems and applications, watch our on-demand webinar.


MIT Open Courseware / Sloan School of Management / FinTech: Shaping the Financial World / Class 1: Intro & Key Technological Trends Affecting Financial Services

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