sb-nz logo
Story image

Global banks fail to keep up with application security

15 Jul 2019

Many of the world’s largest banks are the cybersecurity equivalent of swiss cheese, with many that would fail GDPR compliance tests – an oversight that puts banks and their customers at risk.

A recent ImmuniWeb study on 100 banks across the world – including 36 in Asia and five in Australia – found that the organisations show an alarming lack of security across their banking applications.

In one case, the study found that one bank had an unpatched vulnerability that has existed since at least 2011 – suggesting that banks need to do more to ensure their systems are safe.
The study analysed three different aspects of bank security: compliance, security vulnerabilities, and website security.

Compliance: 

•    85 e-banking web application failed a GDPR compliance test
•    49 e-banking web applications failed a PCI DSS compliance test 
•    25 e-banking web applications are not protected by a web application firewall. 

Security vulnerabilities: 

•    Seven e-banking web applications contain known and exploitable vulnerabilities 
•    The oldest unpatched vulnerability is known and publicly disclosed since 2011 
•    92% of mobile banking applications contain at least one medium-risk security vulnerability 
•    100% of all banks have security vulnerabilities or issues related to forgotten subdomains

Website security 

Only three main websites out of 100 had the highest grades ''A+'' both for SSL encryption and website security:  Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Danske Banke (Denmark), and Handelsbanken (Sweden).

Given the non-intrusive nature of the research and formidable resources available to the top banks studied in the research, the findings urge financial institutions to revise their existing approaches to application security,” comments ImmuniWeb CEO and founder Ilia Kolochenko. 

“Most of the data breaches involve or start with insecure web and mobile apps that too frequently underprioritised by future victims. Unfortunately, most cybersecurity teams today carry a burdensome duty to meet compliance and regulatory requirements as the first priority and simply lack available resources to tackle other essential tasks. Eventually, they become low hanging fruits for cybercriminals.''

ImmuniWeb says that banks should:

1. Consider implementing Gartner’s CARTA strategy to enhance cybersecurity strategy.

2. Maintain a holistic and up-to-date inventory of assets located in the external attack surface, identify all software and its components used, run actionable security scoring on it to enable threat-aware and risk-based remediation.

3. Implement continuous security monitoring of external attack surfaces, test new code before and after deployment to production, start implementing DevSecOps approach to application security.

4. Consider leveraging machine learning and AI capacities to handle time-consuming and routine processes, freeing up security personnel for more important tasks.

Story image
Creating a strong culture of security within organisations
CISOs worldwide are inherently aware of how significant investment in cybersecurity strategies and technologies can bolster an organisation’s protection against cyberattacks. However, many overlook the importance of culture when it comes to cybersecurity.More
Story image
Cybersecurity trends to look out for: Extortion among the top threats in 2021
Cyber-crime is evolving, driven by emerging trends — 2021 may be the first year when data extortion officially becomes the main threat to businesses worldwide.More
Story image
Kaseya acquires RocketCyber to bring SOC solutions to more businesses
"With this acquisition, we've doubled down on our security investments to provide our customers with access to experts who can continuously monitoring their IT environments without the cost and complexity of disparate tools.”More
Story image
Investing in digital trust for the post-pandemic business landscape
Business leaders in 2021 need to make sustainable investments to give their organisations a much-needed resilience boost to tackle new disruptions, while still enabling growth.More
Story image
Cybercriminals leverage remote desktop protocol to brute force attacks
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks surged during 2020, and their severity should not be underestimated. More
Story image
CISOs, don't underestimate the importance of soft skills
There is increasing importance on Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) having and developing the skill of emotional intelligence, a new report states.More