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Financial Accounts and Endpoints Most at Risk: SANS Survey on Financial Services Security Programs

Results released in two-part complimentary webcast series on March 26 and March 27 at 1 PM EDT

BETHESDA, Md., March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many types of organizations (not just financial) indicated that they are in the business of processing and storing financial information and are subject to compliance with multiple regulations, according to the recently conducted SANS Survey on Financial Service Security completed by 293 IT security professionals.

In the two-part webcast, we will share what types of attacks industry participants are suffering from and how well prepared they believe they are to fend off attacks.

In the survey, 32% of respondents say their organizations spend more than 25% of their security budget on meeting or providing compliance mandates. Yet, only 16% felt very prepared to fend off attacks against financial accounts.

"This survey confirms that most attacks start from within, either through abuse, misuse or by employees falling victim to spearphishing emails," says senior SANS analyst and instructor, G. Mark Hardy, who authored the report. "However, quantifying losses is difficult, with nearly half of the survey participants unable to do so."

Of those that were able to quantify attacks on their organization, 44% suffered direct loss against impacted financial accounts and an additional 36% said they had experienced direct losses due to denial of service interrupting their business.

Survey respondents reported the most losses resulting from the following types of attacks:

  • Abuse or misuse by internal employees or contractors (43%)
  • Spearphishing emails (43%)
  • Malware or botnet infections (42%)

Survey results also reveal that there is room for improvement in security programs.

"Vulnerability scanning, continuous monitoring, advanced firewalls, IDS and IPS have the widest adoption among respondents," explains Hardy, "While real-time threat intelligence and in-house security analytics have significant opportunity for increased market penetration."  

The good news is that 49% of respondents plan to invest more heavily in security in the next 24 months.

"Security spending is up, but so are regulatory reporting requirements," says Hardy.

"Unfortunately, compliance can siphon off scarce funds that could otherwise be used to reduce further losses."

Results will be released in a two-part webcast series featuring G. Mark Hardy and John Pescatore:

SANS Financial Services Security Survey Part I: Risks and Preparedness, Wednesday March 26 at 1 PM EDT

SANS Financial Services Security Part II: Drivers and Wish Lists, Thursday, March 27 at 1 PM EDT

Tweet This:

Customer account breaches and DoS top concerns in SANS survey! Attend webcast March 26 @SANSInstitute.

Financial sector strengths and weaknesses revealed in SANS survey. Webcast March 27 @SANSInstitute.

Peer education in Financial Services Risk Management in a SANS survey. Webcast March 27 @SANS Institute.

About SANS Institute
The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest source for world-class information security training and security certification in the world, offering over 50 training courses each year. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, is a certification body featuring over 27 hands-on, technical certifications in information security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system—the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (


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