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New cyber security assessments for banks
ALBANY – A cyber security report that shows the growing risk and sophistication of cyber-attacks facing New York banks, and directed the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to conduct new, regular, targeted cyber security preparedness assessments of the banks DFS regulates was released on Tuesday. To view the report click here.
"With today's growing cyber threats we need to make sure New Yorkers' finances are protected from online predators," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "Targeted cyber security assessments for banks will better safeguard financial institutions from attacks and secure personal bank records from being breached. When consumers sign up for online banking they expect their personal information to be secure and we are working to make sure financial institutions take the proper precautions to safeguard it."
Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky said, “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.”
Cyber Security Report Findings:
Increasing Sophistication of Attacks
The cyber security report released today is the product of an extensive, year-long survey that DFS conducted of 154 banks it regulates. The most frequent challenge to building an adequate cyber security program, cited by banks, included the increasing sophistication of threats (71%) and emerging technologies (53%).
Most institutions experienced intrusions or attempted intrusions into their IT systems over the past three years. The methods used to penetrate IT systems ranged widely, with institutions reporting incidents involving malicious software (malware) (22%), phishing (21%), pharming (7%), and botnets or zombies (7%).
Cyber Security as Economic Development Opportunity
The report also found that the vast majority of banks – large and small – are planning to ramp up their cyber security spending in the coming years, which could represent a key opportunity for job growth and economic development in New York.
More than three-quarters (77%) of all institutions experienced an increase in their total information security budget in the past three years, with most of the remaining institutions (18%) reporting that information security budgets have remained the same. Almost no institutions reported a decrease in spending in the past three years.
New Initiatives to Combat the Growing Cyber Threat:
Today’s report is part of Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to strengthening cyber security in New York. Last year, the Governor formed a Cyber Security Advisory Board, which is working with the administration on innovative strategies to keep New Yorkers safe from cyber threats. The board advises the administration on developments in cyber security and makes recommendations for protecting the state’s critical infrastructure and information systems.