According to recently disclosed information, financial giant JP Morgan wasn’t the only financial institution that was breached recently. As many as 12, and perhaps more, financial institutions were attacked during the same time period. Some of the institutions attacked include, but are not limited to: Citigroup Inc., E*Trade Financial Corp., HSBC Holdings PLC, Regions Financial Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc. Unlike the JP Morgan breach where information related to upwards of 75 million households was exposed, those organizations claim that no data was lost during the attack. However, investigators maintain that at least one other financial firm did indeed lose data to hackers. How much data has not yet been disclosed but fingers are once again pointing at Russian related hackers as the culprits.
This raises some interesting questions regarding the cyber security of those financial institutions. First, the general assumption is that the cyber security at financial institutions is rock steady and beyond reproach. After all, such institutions ‘should’ be aware of their status as high value targets for hackers, and ‘should’ have established air tight, top notch unbeatable security. It would appear that at least two institutions failed to do so. Second, why was the security breached at some but not others? Isn’t there a standard that all should have established and faithfully maintained, or are the defenses at these well known financial institutions done on an ad hoc basis? Finally…why are we just learning about the multitude of attacks and breaches? Were the ‘other’ organizations unaware they had been breached or attacked…were their respective IT staff not monitoring the traffic in and out?
It’s one thing to have a big box retailer like Home Depot or Target hacked, but quite another for the institutions that we rely on so heavily for our financial well being to be susceptible to cyber criminals. If they can’t be secure, with the hundreds of millions they have invested in cyber security, how can anyone be…
The New York Times