Online security incident ‘costs bank US$1.75m’

Accidents and incidents involving online security typically costs banks £1.37m or US$1.75m to resolve, according to Kaspersky Lab.

The Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider’s just-published report on cybersecurity threats in the financial sector finds that an accident involving a bank’s online banking services typically costs around twice that of recovering from a malware incident, which typically carries a price tag of around $825,000 to resolve.

The study shows that 61% of cybersecurity incidents affecting online banking come with additional costs for the institution targeted – including data loss, the loss of brand/company reputation, confidential information becoming leaked, and more.

The report’s authors urge financial institutions to consider the cost implications of cybersecurity threats and put appropriate measures in place to protect themselves and their customers from incidents involving online banking – particularly from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which can threaten online banking services.

DDoS attacks against financial institutions are often designed to cripple banking websites. The report shows that when organisations are attacked by DDoS, customer-facing resources suffer more in banking, than in any other sector.

For example, 49% of banks that have suffered a DDoS attack have had their public website affected – against 41% of non-financial institutions – and 48% have had their online banking affected when they’ve been targeted by DDoS.

While banks worry about attacks against their online banking services more than about many other threats, the report suggests that it is a lesser concern for them than malware and targeted attacks, although DDoS is costlier to recover from than malware.

Recovering from DDoS is also more expensive for banks than non-financial organisations. The report shows that a DDoS incident can cost a financial institution US$1.17m to recover from, compared to US$952,000 for businesses in other sectors.

With the most feared consequence of a cyber incident being the loss of brand/company reputation for 17% of financial institutions, the report urges businesses in the sector to be more aware of the dangers they face, to protect their services, customers and brands from harm.

“In the banking sector reputation is everything, and security goes hand-in-hand with this,” says Kirill Ilganaev, head of Kaspersky DDoS protection, Kaspersky Lab. “If a bank’s online services come under attack, it is very difficult for customers to trust that bank with their money, so it’s easy to see why an attack could be so crippling.

“If banks are to protect themselves effectively from the price tag of an online banking cybersecurity incident, they first need to become more prepared for the dangers DDoS attacks pose to their online banking services. This threat should be featuring higher on banks’ security priorities.”

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