Financial Services and Client-Side Security

Improving security for the financial services sector has never been more important. It’s estimated that this industry experiences 35% of the world’s data breaches, which has led to it being considered the world’s most breached industry.

To maintain or, in some cases, rebuild public trust, financial services companies must prioritize not only security for all financial transactions but also better financial security solutions across all of their services and technology platforms.

Cybersecurity for financial services is a must

It’s easy to understand why the financial services industry is at such high risk for cyber-threats. With such a large volume of transactions happening online, cybercriminals know that they could potentially make millions targeting the platforms where transactions are taking place.

The growth of this industry has been even more dramatic during the COVID-19 pandemic, with e-commerce taking over 19% of all global retail sales. Even though online transactions have been becoming increasingly common for years, we saw an average growth of more than 3% between 2019 and 2020 alone, a figure that represents billions of dollars.

With this increase in traffic comes a corresponding rise in threats from cybercriminals, who are eager for any opportunity for financial gain. These financial services cyber threats must be taken seriously, with companies proactively protecting both the server-side and client-side of their business.

Financial services cyber threats & vulnerabilities

With the increasing potential for client-side vulnerabilities, financial services companies must be aware of current and ongoing threats, so they can offer better security for their financial transactions. These threats and vulnerabilities are evolving every day as cybercriminals seek out new ways to access personal and financial data.

Although there are many potential threats and vulnerabilities to be aware of, financial services businesses should familiarize themselves with some of the most common examples.

Cross-site scripting attack (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is one of the most common client-side security threats facing many industries, including financial services. Cross-site scripting occurs when a threat actor injects a malicious script into a trusted website. When a user comes across the script, it attacks by copying itself onto the user’s browser.

PII harvesting

Since many financial services companies request and hold a wealth of personal identifiable information (PII), PII harvesting can be lucrative within this industry. In a PII harvesting attack, cybercriminals alter the forms on the client-side of the company website to give themselves access to any information submitted by the customer.

Depending on what they’re looking for, this could include everything from names and addresses to Social Security and credit card numbers. This information can then be sold or used by hackers to access other forms of financial or personal data.

Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

Banks and other financial services companies are at great risk for DDoS attacks, a type of attack that floods the company server with a huge amount of traffic from illegitimate sources, thereby preventing legitimate customers from accessing their webpage or web application.

Financial services
security solution

Focusing on client-side security threats is of particular importance to the financial services industry. Since they have been entrusted with the PII of their clients and customers, businesses must ensure they are actively protecting it from every angle, including the vulnerable space between their servers and the client’s browser.

To help combat these ongoing threats and vulnerabilities, companies within the financial services industry must prioritize both client-side and server-side security. By building up a full security perimeter around their enterprise, businesses can ensure they’re protecting customers from any of the evolving threats being flung their way.

Here are some strategies, practices, and solutions that can help combat the various threats financial services businesses face.

Institute 2-factor authentication
for customers

One of the easiest ways that financial services companies can protect customers and their sensitive data is by instituting a robust 2-factor authentication policy. This makes it much more challenging for hackers to use any username or password data that they may have collected.

Improve internal
security policies

While there are many tools that scan websites for vulnerabilities, they are not 100% foolproof. Companies must have internal security policies that dictate what happens in the event of a breach like this, so that damage can be contained, and actions taken to immediately mitigate the threat.

Use third-party applications to help scan and monitor for vulnerabilities

While there are many options that offer scanning and monitoring services for server-side vulnerabilities, there are fewer available that can proactively monitor the client-side of your business. We’re happy to offer two options to businesses interested in more proactive financial security solutions.

Inspector

Inspector searches out security issues and vulnerabilities on the client-side of your business and reports them in a thorough and easy-to-understand format. This gives your IT, security or application development teams the knowledge they need to mitigate these vulnerabilities in real-time, protecting your business from threats.

PageGuard

To deploy JavaScript security policies, try PageGuard. This security solution runs continuously in the background of your JavaScript-based web applications, adding security permissions and policies that are necessary to protect against malware and other malicious third-party scripts that can easily be deposited into your site and used to attack customers.

Increase Security for Financial
Transactions with Feroot