The financial sector is struggling the most to deal with the cost of cyber-attacks, according to a new report by EfficientIP

Cyber security (1)

The cost of cyber-attacks that go under-the-radar was almost $1bn globally for financial companies last year – more than any other sector, according to a new report.

DNS (domain name system) attacks, which aim to disrupt networks, meant businesses in the sector had to fork out $924,390 (£716,684) to restore their services.

The 2018 Global DNS Threat Report shows a 57% year-on-year increase in the cost of DNS attacks, with the main losses coming from the downtime to in-house applications, cloud services or a company’s website after a network has been compromised.

It was published by network protection firm EfficientIP, which helps to secure the likes of Netflix, eBay and the London Stock Exchange.

EfficientIP CEO David Williamson said: “Many financial organizations rely on security solutions which fail to combat specific DNS threats.

“Financial services increasingly operate online and rely on internet availability and the capacity to securely communicate information in real time.

“Therefore, network service continuity and security is a business imperative and a necessity.”


How cost of cyber-attacks was calculated

The study surveyed 1,000 businessmen and women across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

It found that financial organisations spent an average of seven hours recovering their networks following a cyber-attack and, in the worst cases, spent 41 days resolving the impacts of DNS attacks last year.

On average, financial services firms suffered an average of seven attacks over the past 12 months, with nearly one in five being attacked ten or more times.

Despite the high number of cyber-attacks on the sector, the report reveals 72% of finance companies took three days or longer to install a security patch on their systems, leaving them open to attacks.


How cost of cyber-attacks can be prevented

EfficientIP recommends five best practices for companies in the financial sector to secure their networks from cyber-attacks:

  1. Enhance threat intelligence on domain reputation with data feeds which provide menace insight from global traffic analysis. This will protect users from internal/external attacks by blocking malware activity and mitigating data exfiltration attempts.
  1. Augment your threat visibility using real-time, context-aware DNS transaction analytics for behavioral threat detection. Businesses can detect all threat types, and prevent data theft to help meet regulatory compliance such as GDPR and US CLOUD Act.
  1. Apply adaptive countermeasures relevant to threats. The result is ensured business continuity, even when the attack source is unidentifiable, and practically eliminates risks of blocking legitimate users.
  1. Harden security for cloud/next-gen data centres with a purpose-built DNS security solution, overcoming limitations of solutions from cloud providers. This ensures continued access to cloud services and apps, and protects against ex-filtration of cloud-stored data.
  1. Incorporate DNS into a global network security solution to recognize unusual or malicious activity and inform the broader security ecosystem. This allows holistic network security to address growing network risks and protect against the lateral movement of threats.