The financial market is recognized as one of the markets that invests the most in innovations to digitize its operations and the services offered to the population. With digital transformation advancing rapidly, the segment stands out for its ability to adapt quickly to meet the changing behavior of its customers and also the evolving challenges. However, there is still one area in which financial institutions struggle to keep up with the developments: cyberattacks. The rapid way in which hackers develop increasingly sophisticated initiatives is making the way organizations need to prepare to reduce risk to both their digital environments and customer data and finances more complex on a daily basis.

In this context, cybersecurity is among the largest investments in technology in the sector, according to the Febraban Banking Technology Survey 2023. The highlights of these investments are especially in infrastructure, cyber threat prevention, detection and response to cyber incidents, as well as identity and access management. Cybersecurity is at the center of attention for the segment to be able to cope with the exponential increase in connectivity and dependence on devices and applications for access to bank accounts and payments.

This complex ecosystem that is being designed more and more quickly, including the use of financial applications, remote payments and digital wallets, for example, opens up a range of opportunities to innovate in the market. But they also provide cybercriminals with possibilities to exploit new attack surfaces.
The duality of innovations being used to improve people’s lives and, at the same time, for evil makes financial cybersecurity intricate. For example, Artificial Intelligence is already used to prevent fraud and mitigate risks. At the same time, voice clones, deepfakes, and highly realistic masks are employed to mimic customers’ voices or faces and circumvent systems to access their financial data or scam.

However, it is worth noting that it is not only AI that currently experiences attacks. Cyberattacks against the Brazilian financial sector vary widely. Phishing, ransomware, and denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are among the most common methods adopted by hackers. Social engineering, in which the trust of employees or customers is exploited to gain access to data, is also a growing threat. The diversity of possibilities calls for a vigilant posture and measures to ensure continued security.

Employing a proactive approach to mitigating cyber risks is critical, including investing in advanced technologies with internationally recognized security standards. The implementation of robust firewalls, vulnerability analysis, and software with constant updates are some of the mandatory initiatives for the protection of the sector.
The implementation of continuous monitoring technologies for early detection of suspicious activity, as well as behavioral analysis and Artificial Intelligence algorithms, helps identify irregularities that may not be noticed through more traditional solutions.

Another key initiative is to strengthen user identification, adopting multiple authentication factors. Awareness of how social engineering works is also critical in defending against threats. You can add another layer of security to interactions between customers and financial institutions by educating people about the most common types of attacks, such as pretexting, which involves using a made-up story to gain the victim’s trust by making it easier to access improper data, install malware, or send money to criminals. Conscientious users are much less susceptible to falling for scams, as they are better able to notice potential manipulation attempts.

Emblematic cases have already occurred in the sector and, today, the market needs to look at the mistakes of the past so that they do not occur again. Cyber protection should not only be seen as a regulatory obligation, but as a strategic priority for the reputation and success of the business. Trust is a valuable asset for any financial institution, and a security breach can result in a loss of credibility, financial impact, and even legal action. We know that the challenges are many, but with the right investment and commitment, financial institutions will be able to win this battle against hackers and keep their systems and their customers much more secure.

With over 5,000 clients, Blockbit is the largest manufacturer of cybersecurity solutions in Brazil and can help you protect your business from a wide range of threats, vulnerabilities, and cyberattacks, whether internal or external, generic or targeted.