News & AnalysisSecurity & Compliance

Financial Firms Continue To Struggle With Cybersecurity

A new survey conducted by Ponemon Institute reveals more than half of financial services organizations have experienced cybersecurity theft.

Cybersecurity

Banking and financial institutes are relatively mature in terms of their cybersecurity strategies. However, a new survey conducted by Ponemon Institute reveals more than half of financial services organizations have experienced theft of customer data due to insecure software. The report The State of Software Security in the Financial Services Industry, is based on a survey of global financial services organizations commissioned by Synopsis.

The study found that more than half of the surveyed organizations have experienced theft of sensitive customer data or system failure and downtime because of insecure software or technology. The study also found that many organizations are struggling to manage cybersecurity risk in their supply chain and are failing to assess their software for security vulnerabilities before release.

“While the financial services industry is relatively mature in terms of their software security posture, organizations are grappling with a rapidly evolving technology landscape and facing increasingly sophisticated adversaries,” said Drew Kilbourne, managing director of security consulting for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group.

Key findings from the study include:

The majority of FSI organizations are ineffective at preventing cyberattacks.

More than half of respondents have experienced system failure or downtime (56%) or theft of sensitive customer data (51%) due to insecure software or technology. Unsurprisingly, the study shows that more organizations are effective in detecting (56%) and containing (53%) cyberattacks than in preventing attacks (31%).

Many FSI organizations are struggling to manage cybersecurity risk in their supply chain.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents were concerned or very concerned about the security posture of third-party software and systems. Despite this concern, only 43% of respondents said their organizations impose cybersecurity requirements on third parties involved in developing financial software and systems. Furthermore, only 43% of respondents said they have a formal process for inventorying and managing the open source code in their software portfolios.

FSI organizations are failing to assess their software for security vulnerabilities before release.

While most organizations follow a secure software development life cycle (SDLC) process, respondents reported that their organizations test, on average, only 34% of all financial software and technology developed or in use by their organization for cybersecurity vulnerabilities. For the software and technology that is tested for vulnerabilities, only 48% of respondents reported that security testing occurs in the pre-release phases of the SDLC, such as the requirements and design phase or the development and testing phase.

Kilbourne said, “There is no single right approach to software security, but this study clearly shows that there is a significant need for improvement in supply chain risk management. There is also an opportunity for many organizations to expand the scope of their software security programs to cover all their business-critical applications and shift their efforts further left in the software development life cycle.”

Leave a Response