With the increase on technological reliance from all ends of the society, the risk of data leak has been on the rise. Sensitive information like social security numbers, credit card information and bank account details are now stored in cloud storage devices like Dropbox or Google Drive which may harm one’s financial health. Financial cybercrime can affect individuals and companies of all sizes and in all sectors and can have dramatic consequences.
Cybercrime in Finance
Cybercrime in finance is the act of obtaining financial gain through profit-driven criminal activity, including identity fraud, ransom ware attacks, email and internet fraud, and attempts to steal financial account, credit card, or other payment card information.
In other words: Financial cybercrime includes activities such as stealing payment card information, gaining access to financial accounts in order to initiate unauthorized transactions, extortion, identity fraud in order to apply for financial products, and so on.
Financial crime is a crime against property involving the unlawful conversion of ownership of property belonging to one person to one’s personal use and benefit. Cyber-crime in finance includes acts such as stealing payment card information, gaining access to financial accounts in order to initiate unauthorised transaction, extort and impersonate.
Cyber security is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyber threats. A strong cyber security strategy can provide a good security posture against malicious attacks designed to access, alter, delete, destroy or extort an organization’s or user’s systems and sensitive data. It is also instrumental in preventing attacks that aim to disable or disrupt a system’s or device’s operations.
The benefits of implementing and maintaining cyber security practices include:
- Business protection against cyber attacks and data breaches.
- Protection for data and networks.
- Prevention of unauthorized user access.
- Improved recovery time after a breach.
- Protection for end users and endpoint devices.
- Regulatory compliance.
- Business continuity.
- Improved confidence in the company’s reputation and trust for developers, partners, customers, stakeholders and employees.
Cybersecurity as a Guard against Financial Crimes
According to former Cisco CEO, John Chambers, ‘There are two types of companies. Those who have been hacked and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked’. The consequence of a successful attack may include bankruptcy, reputational damage before stakeholders and the general public for a company, private individuals may have their accounts emptied and identity stolen. These crimes, detected and undetected, have become more numerous and costly than ever.
Prevention of Cybercrimes
It goes without saying that training and awareness are important. For companies, it is important to focus on creating awareness on cybersecurity for employees. It is also essential to have well-functioning threat intelligence in place.
For individuals, it is important to:
- Always be alert and careful when shopping online or entering transactions on unverified sites. payments should be made through officially verified sites.
- Be careful not to click on suspicious links, always verify the sender’s identity and if in doubt, ask for a second opinion.
- Avoid using unsecure Wi-Fi networks in public places.
Organisations should ensure they do the following:
- Regular vulnerability tests run by IT security team.
- Update their software and operating systems.
- Use anti-virus software.
- Use strong passwords.
- Not opening email attachments from unknown senders.
- Overall cyber hygiene.
- Use a VPN whenever possible.
With the continuous evolution of modern technology, innovations tend to defeat previous security systems. Therefore, being proactive about cybersecurity issues and taking preventive measures can never be overemphasized. If particular security measures become outdated, they should be upgraded.
- Kapersky lab 2021 AO
- Isabel Arkvik, What is Financial Cyber Crime and how to prevent it (October 27,2020)
- Salim Hasham, Shoam Joshi and Daniel Mikkelsen, Financial crime and fraud in the age of cybersecurity(October, 2019)