New York Getting Serious About Cyber-Security Threat

Coming soon to New York's banks-- a cyber security assessment to be carried out by the state Department of Financial Services (DFS).  The proposed security audits come on the heels of a DFS report that indicates that the number of attacks from all sorts of cyber-criminals has been on the incline in the past few years, and is only expected to climb higher.

"With today's growing cyber threats we need to make sure New Yorkers' finances are protected from online predators," said NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a released statement.  Targeted cyber security assessments for banks will better safeguard financial institutions from attacks and secure personal bank records from being breached."

According to the  report, 22 percent of institutions surveyed have been hit with malware during the last three years, while 22 percent have been targeted by phishing scams and 7 by pharming. The report also noted that 15 percent of banks reported an mobile banking exploitation in the last few years.

While approximately 90 percent of banking institutions survey report having a security framework in place, the technologies are somewhat better deployed and understood at larger institutions than at small independent banks.

Crooks most commonly use intrusions for account takeovers, although ID theft, telco network disruptions and third party payment processor breaches are also common. Around 15% of large banks also say they've suffered mobile banking exploitation.

Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky noted: "The fact that so much of our financial lives are spent online makes banks increasingly tempting targets for cyber attacks. Hackers spend day and night trying to think up new ways to steal consumers' personal information and disrupt our nation's financial markets, and it's more important than ever that we rise to meet that challenge."

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