New Survey Underscores Need for Finance Industry to Take Prevention

Chennai, India, 24th August, 2017 - Digital transformation is disrupting the finance industry in Asia-Pacific and likewise driving positive change, however cybersecurity risks have also increased significantly. Palo Alto Networks recently released a survey revealing a high level of awareness within the sector to invest in cybersecurity measures. 72 percent of respondents claim to have received additional cybersecurity budgets over the past year – above the average of 66 percent, across all industry sectors surveyed. This shows a good understanding on the importance of dedicating resources to avoid cyberthreats.

Furthermore,52 percent of financial institutions have also adopted big data analytics todetect security breaches and fraud, which is significantly higher than theoverall average of 33 percent. A high percentage of financial firms dedicatingresources on big data analytics to mitigate cyberthreats indicate howcybersecurity is critical for today’s traditional banks embracing digitaltechnologies to deliver modern-day conveniences such as mobile banking.   

However, just like the industry-wide sentiment oforganisations across the region, 55 percent of financial institutions stillfeel that a rather reactive, detect and respond approach towards cybersecurityis still more important than prevention. As it takes approximately 98 days onthe average to detect an attack, majority of attackers have enough time tosucceed before they get detected. This means that response after an attack isdetected may be a little too late. In the current financial year alone, 3 outof 10 financial institutions in Asia-Pacific surveyed have lost over USD100,000. 

 Otherkey findings: 

  • There is a need to be mindful of external threats - 43 percent of respondents in the financial sector noted that most risk comes from third-party service providers. In fact, 50 percent of respondents said that their network’s exposure to external users like clients and suppliers is the primary barrier to ensuring cybersecurity. It is no wonder then, that 85 percent of financial institutions place a security policy on BYOD (bring your own device). 
  • Financial institutions demand external cybersecurity expertise, just like all other industries - 62 percent of financial institutions outsource cybersecurity to Managed Security Service Providers, higher than the 59 percent across industries.  
  • Cyberthreats should not disrupt 24/7 digital banking services - Other than monetary damages, financial institutions are also most worried about company downtown while a breach is being fixed (28 percent). 


‘Over the past few years, we have seen the financeindustry taking greater action to ensure that their organisations are able toeffectively mitigate cyberthreats. However, before even talking aboutcybersecurity budgets, financial institution must first ensure that they adoptan approach that minimise risks the most. A reactive approach towardscybersecurity simply isn’t enough to counter today’s most sophisticatedcyberthreats, and we must not overlook the importance of prevention.’ 

 Sean Duca, vicepresident and regional chief security officer for Asia-Pacific, Palo AltoNetworks

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