Frontpage News 2016 Cyber security in ...

Cyber security in the financial sector

8 December 2016

The Danish financial sector should be best in class
in Europe when it comes to counter the threat from cybercrime, so that it:

  • continues to provide a secure and efficient
    infrastructure, and
  • supports the Danes’ continued trust in the digital solutions of the Danish financial sector.

All over the world, the IT systems of the financial sector and other critical sectors in society are attacked by criminals and by government-sponsored actors. Denmark is one of the most digitised societies in the world. Combined with the large values handled, this makes the Danish financial sector a target of cybercrime. The Centre for Cyber Security assesses the risk of cybercrime against Danish authorities and private sector firms to be very high.

The cyber threat is increasing
In 2016, there has been a tendency for IT criminals to target the business sector in Denmark. Most recently, in the PwC Cybercrime Survey 2016 PwC documented that 69 per cent of the respondent firms in Denmark had been hit by cyberattacks within the last financial year. CEO fraud is a new type of attack that is becoming more prevalent. In the first half of the year, Danish banks registered at least 92 successful attacks against Danish firms, resulting in total losses of more than kr. 60 million.

In some cases, the amounts involved are very large. In April 2016, the Danish prosecution service referred to two cases in which fraudsters had tricked Danish firms into transferring amounts of kr. 100 and 40 million, respectively. The use of ransomware, which means that IT criminals encrypt their victims’ computers and then require a ransom for decrypting them, has also increased strongly. A recent analysis by Trend Micro shows that at the international level, the number of ransomware attacks grew by almost 200 per cent in the 1st half of 2016 compared with 2015. Finally, the incidence of phishing and smishing has been rising lately, and consequently the Danish Bankers Association has decided to include this type of crime in its statistics of online bank hackings from 2016 onwards.

The methods used by IT criminals are constantly changing and becoming more and more sophisticated. In 2016, IT criminals succeeded in using the SWIFT infrastructure to rob the central bank of Bangladesh of 81 million dollars. The SWIFT system itself was not compromised, but insufficient IT security in the Bangladeshi central bank’s system made it possible for IT criminals to gain unauthorised access and use the SWIFT system for their criminal transaction. This gives cause for serious concern and is a topical example of how vulnerable our interconnected systems are.

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Read Terms of Reference for Financial Sector Forum for Operational Resilience (FSOR) >


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