Multi-layered cybersecurity strategy required to secure bank’s digital assets

As part of the efforts targeting the cybersecurity of the financial sector specifically, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) conducted a real-time cyberattack simulation exercise designed to test the resilience of the UAE’s banking sector against any potential cyber threats.

In addition to this, the UAE Banks Federation recently organized RaCE, a two-day cybersecurity webinar, focusing on best practices in data privacy and protection as businesses shift to a hybrid working environment.

Remote working has increased the dependence on VPNs to connect employees with the corporate networks, which provides an additional potential path for criminals to attack. Experts anticipate COVID-19 related phishing attacks to continue well through 2021, as employees continue to work from home. Prior to the pandemic, perimeter security was sufficient to block such activity, but since all employees are now logging in at all times, from different places, utilizing multiple devices; detecting unauthorized access has proven difficult.

Infiltrators are now changing tactics to avoid detection and maximize the payout. They have adopted a new strategy that involves spending months hidden in the system, carefully navigating through the network, and patiently waiting to locate their victim’s most valuable assets.

The increased incidence of attacks on financial institutions in the region encouraged these institutions to invest in measures against cyber threats. A sentiment shared by the respondents of the UAE 2020 KPMG cybercrime survey, where nearly three-quarters of those surveyed expected businesses to invest significantly in cybersecurity.

According to Ray Kafity, Vice President META at Attivo Networks, “CISOs can proactively defend against APT threats by utilising a portfolio of solutions that can detect, isolate and remedy the attack. In addition to endpoint security, tools using deception and concealment techniques, provide early detection capabilities for discovery, credential theft, lateral movement, privilege escalation, and data gathering activities.”

There has been a shift in organizations’ focus from prevention to early threat detection when it comes to cybersecurity. Utilizing platforms like Attivo Networks’ ThreatDefend, in addition to endpoint security products, gives organizations an average of 42 percent boost in detection, due to their advantage of reducing dwell times and providing evidence-based, actionable alerts.