How the Shortage of Cybersecurity Talent is Causing Wreckage to Our Financial Systems

How the Shortage of Cybersecurity Talent is Causing Wreckage to Our Financial Systems

Pakistan: Thousands of bank accounts compromised, money stolen by hacking – The Week [1]
Data of almost all Pakistani banks hacked: Report – Business Today[2]
Several Pakistani banks’ data hacked in the recent cyber-attack: FIA – Daily Pakistan[3]
Pakistani banks hit by the biggest cyber-attack in country’s history – Samaa TV[4]

These are the headlines spearheading all business and cybersecurity news channels, creating a tremor in the cybersecurity industry. The head of the Federal Investigation Agency’s cybercrime wing confirmed that almost all the banks in Pakistan have been hacked.[5]

The incident came to light on November 6, 2018, when news broke about the breach of customer credit and debit card data from different banks. The following day, the Captain of FIA confirmed that the attack breached almost all Pakistan banks. An arrest was made when a group, disguised as army officials, went to withdraw money from banks using the acquired customer data.[2]

Sadly, this is not the first time that the world witnessed such a massive attack on the banking industry. In August 2018, hackers illegally withdrew Rs.94 crore through a malware attack on Cosmos Bank’s server in Pune, India.[6] While, earlier in the year, two Canadian Banks, Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s Simplii Financial, confirmed that nearly 90,000 customers had their data compromised in May 2018.[7]

Is the Financial Sector More Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

An industry that hosts the crucial customer data has always been the target of hackers. With each fresh wave of communications and infrastructure technology, the financial sector has been at risk for cybersecurity attacks. The dependency on cloud servers and the comfort of banking has increased the rise of botnet, file-less, and other advanced attacking trends. With massive personal information available online, a hacker’s job is easier than ever.

Why the Financial Sector is Prone to Cyberattacks

1. Technology without Security

Cloud servers, online banking channels, shopping on swipe, etc. have advanced the banking transactions; but at the same time, their inherent vulnerabilities make them more prone to cyber-attacks. Though the financial sector has advanced in regards to technical development, the industry could not rise to the same height when it came to security standards.

2. Unsecured Mobile Banking

Mobile phones are an easy target, as well as mobile banking. The less complicated security systems present on your mobile phone makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Mobile banking applications produced by 50 of the world’s largest 100 banks were all vulnerable to hacking attacks that could allow password hacks or surveillance of the user.” – European Mobile Security Outfit.[9]

3. Lack of Security Policies for New Forms of Hacking

When hackers fail to attain customer data, they often resort to new forms of attacks. Banks or financial institutions that are less likely to update their security policy regularly often find themselves vulnerable to such attacks.

4. Lack of Efficient Cybersecurity Personnel

As the banking sector does not maintain the required security standard, there is an immediate requirement of cybersecurity arrangements to deal with such situations. A tough firewall or installing an antivirus will not help the industry to overcome the situation.

Hackers have struck at the heart of U.S. finance, with revelations in 2017 of significant breaches at the Securities and Exchange Commission and elsewhere. Fraud incidents, both online and offline, have increased by more than 130% during the past year, resulting in significant monetary and reputational losses for financial institutions.[10]

Both private and public financial sectors are slowly moving toward investing in cybersecurity talent. The SoftBank Corp recently invested $100 million in a cybersecurity start-up. In fact, New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, introduced a plan to implement 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years with a strong emphasis on cybersecurity.[11]

The growing prospects are an indication of career opportunities in the cybersecurity industry. If you are envisioning yourself as a part of this booming career, then take a look at EC-Council University. EC-Council University offers various cybersecurity degree and graduate certificate programs with various specializations. For more details, visit https://www.eccu.edu/academics/online-cyber-security-degrees/


  1. https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2018/11/07/pakistan-thousands-bank-accounts-money-hacking.html
  2. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/data-of-almost-all-pakistani-banks-hacked-report/story/288903.html
  3. https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/pakistan/several-pakistani-banks-data-hacked-in-recent-cyber-attack-fia/
  4. https://www.samaa.tv/news/2018/11/pakistani-banks-hit-by-biggest-cyber-attack-in-countrys-history/
  5. https://www.dawn.com/news/amp/1443970
  6. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/cosmos-banks-server-hacked-rs-94-crore-siphoned-off-in-2-days/articleshow/65399477.cms
  7. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3276275/data-breach/2-canadian-banks-hacked-90000-customers-data-stolen.html
  8. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hsbc-cyber/hsbc-discloses-customer-accounts-hacked-at-its-u-s-bank-idUSKCN1NB24M
  9. https://www.cyberscoop.com/testing-pradeo-100-percent-mobile-banking-applications-vulnerable/
  10. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/research-institute/top-issues/cybersecurity.html
  11. https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/need-cyber-security-professionals/