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Generali publishes white paper on cyber risk mitigation for financial institutions

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Generali Global Assistance in February 2018 published a white paper titled The Impact of Cybersecurity Incidents on Financial Institutions, which provides financial organizations with information on today’s cyber and identity threat landscape, the potential impact on those threats, and existing solutions that can mitigate risks and fallout from these threats.

Financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and credit card companies were among the most impacted in 2017, which was a record year for data breaches with a 44.7 percent increase over 2016. 56 percent of financial institutions saw an uptick in the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

The spear-phishing campaign called “Carbanak” was used by cybercriminals to steal approximately $1.3 billion from 100 banks in 30 countries. This underscores the need for financial institutions to implement the right solutions to protect their systems and their customers from threats including identity theft and fraud.

According to Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protections Services Global Unit, “For years, the financial services sector has been a primary target for cyberattacks largely due to the tremendous value of the information that these organizations hold as well as personal funds impacted. In fact, financial institutions are reportedly hit by security incidents a staggering 300 times more frequently than businesses in other industries.”

These figures underscore the importance of staying aware of cyber threats and their potential impact. While the average cost to U.S. businesses per record lost or stolen in a breach was reported to be $225 across all industries in 2017, the cost per record for businesses in the financial industry was $336.

Customer churn is a significant contributor to this increased cost for the financial sector. A 2016 survey revealed that 12.3% of respondents left their credit unions and 28% left their banks as a result of unauthorized activity on their accounts.

Ms. Schaffer concludes, ‘Loss of trust and damaged reputations following a data breach can be particularly severe for financial organizations given the sensitivity of the customer information to which they have access’.

The entire report can be downloaded here.

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