Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Ian Khan, SmartBear Blog, Anders Wallgren

News Feed Item

Booz Allen Announces Top 10 Financial Services Cyber Risk Trends for 2013

Ask any customer what they expect from their bank or financial services firm today, and two words come through loudly and clearly: security and privacy. Commercial and institutional customers have come to expect seamless service, properly cleared transactions and fast, accurate information. But news about major cybersecurity breaches has alarmed consumers, causing banks to redouble their efforts to protect their technology infrastructure. This means the stakes have never been higher for banks and financial services firms, and there are clear trends for cyber risk and security protection in the financial services industry in 2013, according to the experts at Booz Allen Hamilton.

“When we think about the lethal daily threats to the globally integrated financial services industry from nation-states and individuals, it is imperative that Chief Information Security Officers begin looking around corners, talk with each other and better prioritize the real threats to their firms,” said Mike McConnell, Booz Allen vice chairman and former Director of National Intelligence. “Self-evaluation and industry-wide conversations are the new ‘rules of the road’ to creating successful, integrated cyber defenses. The CISO can really drive organization-wide change while still championing efficiency and customer service.”

McConnell is speaking today at Bloomberg’s Enterprise Risk Conference (more information) where he will discuss the financial services industry’s responses to state-based and state-sponsored cyber attacks. He added, “There are many cyber trends – including the sophistication and lethality of the attacks – that the financial industry should be aware of. Even though it is difficult to look into a crystal ball and predict the future, these events are happening now and could cause significant reputational, financial and infrastructure damage to any ill-prepared firm. Individual companies should not wait for legislation or an Executive Order to come together with their government counterparts to find dynamic solutions to these big issues.”

Booz Allen works with financial services firms to identify and benchmark best practices and challenges for long-term cybersecurity prevention and protection. This process is part of Booz Allen’s Cyber M3 (Measure, Manage, Mature) capability, which evaluates the maturity of a firm’s cybersecurity programs. Both Cyber M3 and the benchmarking program incorporate technology, business process engineering, human capital development and risk management in developing a comprehensive picture of a firm’s and industry’s cyber readiness.

The Top 10 Financial Services Cybersecurity Trends for 2013:

  1. Business/Information Risk protection is not Just a Technology IssueSpending on new technology alone is not enough to protect a firm’s information and business. Firms must also invest in people and in fine-tuning processes to ensure, not only the proper use of technology, but that the processes that require interfaces between organizations are well managed and executed flawlessly. No matter how good a technology is, if not used correctly by skilled employees who follow well-defined processes, vulnerabilities will surface that can be leveraged by both internal and external threat actors.
  2. Data disruption attacks may become data destruction attacks The potential of threat actors actually destroying data is a major concern among risk and security professionals. Over time, the financial services industry will face threats from extremist groups who, when denied access to weapons of mass destruction, will use cyber as a “weapon of mass disruption.” Additionally, threat actors who mean to disrupt a firm’s business operations to make a statement or prove what they consider a moral point will also utilize destruction of data to ensure they make an impact.
  3. Nation-states and threat actors are becoming more sophisticated We now have to face more sophisticated threat actors such as smaller nation-states and terrorist elements obtaining similar capabilities. The financial services industry must fully understand the entire threat landscape and what this means in terms of employing the right people, technology and processes to ensure business continuity and proper risk management.
  4. Legislation could push industry standards around cyber risks and improve threat intelligence information sharing Banks already share information, but they will need to do more in light of possible legislation to set standards for cyber protection. If Congress allows the sharing of important national security information, industry standards could become a benchmark requirement that firms must meet before they are given access to government information. Additionally, such legislation could help in reducing the valid fears of firms in sharing cyber incident information due to the threat of penalties and further regulation. The industry and government must acknowledge and treat firms as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure because a breach at anyone bank or firm can have severe, cascading effects on the nation’s stability.
  5. Predictive threat intelligence analytics will create a more effective risk management capabilityFinancial services firms must begin to employ a more predictive threat intelligence capability to determine who might be trying to attack them and how. Focusing on understanding their own individual business risks (as well as industry risks) and combating real potential threats that could focus on such risks is much more effective than trying to create a defense that could cover any possible threat.
  6. Vendor Risk Management is becoming an increasingly important concern among firms Most firms buy much of their information technology and services from suppliers. Therefore, these suppliers’ vulnerabilities become the vulnerabilities of the firms they provide products and services. Firms are becoming more focused on the security requirements for these suppliers and engaging independent third parties to evaluate the risks around such products and services.
  7. Cyber risk continues to be a board-level issue Information, legal documents, and communications with clients and employees are all becoming more and more electronic every day to include an even greater usage of mobile technologies and social media. The boards of financial institutions must create and embrace a culture that acknowledges the evolving risks and more openly shares incident information across the industry, with technology providers and with both law enforcement and the federal government.
  8. Firms must continue to embrace and adapt to the new “boundless network,” and must also invest in training its workforce to properly access and protect corporate data Cloud, social and mobile technologies, including “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), are simply too cost efficient and effective for institutions to ignore them. Security and risk professionals need to better integrate these technology trends, which will require they embrace the fact that the corporate network now has extended beyond their control. Risk management and mitigation is evolving to better control how corporate data travels these boundless networks and ensuring the education of their employees on the responsibilities they have in securing such data.
  9. Identity and Access Management is becoming a key security control area in which firms will continue to invest heavily The days of focusing solely on perimeter defense have long since passed. Phishing and other social engineering strategies employed by threat actors have been very effective in allowing them to penetrate almost any network. Banking institutions must assume these actors can get in. Ensuring proper identity of an authorized individual is a key area that is being addressed by all firms in all industries to address this new paradigm. Most threat actors employ a strategy to gain access to networks and information by gaining access to valid authorized credentials of a firm’s employee so that they can go undetected in their actions. Firms will continue to invest heavily in ensuring that an authorized user is actually an authorized user. Additionally, firms will invest more heavily in tracking unusual activity of a user to detect stolen credentials or an insider threat.
  10. The Financial Services industry will rely more heavily on cyber benchmarking The FS industry is investing more and more in protecting its information assets and wisely spending these scarce dollars is becoming increasingly important, not only from an effectiveness standpoint, but to also be able to articulate to business leaders, the value of such an investment. The FS industry, therefore, will continue to use industry benchmarks to understand how their competitors and suppliers are investing in people processes and technology for cyber risk management.

For 2012 Booz Allen issued its first annual list of cybersecurity trends for the financial services industry (read the 2012 list). Since then, the industry has experienced a number of high-profile attacks, such as the DDoS attacks on U.S. commercial banks and the New York Stock Exchange.

“In the span of one year, we have seen a significant shift in the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks on financial services firms. This is perhaps the biggest trend of them all,” McConnell said.


Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen combines deep technical knowledge with expertise in each client’s core mission to deliver proven results. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs approximately 24,000 people, and had revenue of $5.86 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2012 (NYSE: BAH).

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Luxoft Holding, Inc., a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Luxoft’s software development services consist of core and mission-critical custom software development and support, product engineering and testing, and technology consulting.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program, to be aired during the peak viewership season of the year, will have a major impac...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innovation is automation. The most painful pain point for any business is the mismatch between supplies a...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...