The Top 3 Cyber Security Stories of 2016

In cyber security, 2016 was a year for breaking records, venturing into new frontiers, and grabbing the international spotlight. Regrettably though, it’s the cyber criminals and their nation-state sponsors who will be celebrating these achievements, as the scale and impact of their breaches reached new and alarming heights.

Meanwhile, government agencies and private sector firms are taking notes on what went awry, trying to plug hidden security holes that increasingly savvy hackers continue to breach. In the finance industry, regulators face increasing pressure to tighten cyber defense standards as fears about the security of global finance intensify.

As we head into 2017, financial firms are, understandably, trying to make sense of the state of cyber security. And to that end, we’ve pulled out a few of the top stories from 2016 and highlighting their significance to the finance sector.

  1. The SWIFT hack: In the summer, cyber criminals stole $81 million dollars from Bangladesh’s central bank by hacking SWIFT, a messaging service used to transmit payment instructions between banks. This sent a shockwave through the global finance community and prompted U.S. financial regulators to tighten security standards on financial firms.
  1. Massive breaches at Yahoo: Yahoo has disclosed two separate data breaches, which the company discovered this year. The larger of these incidents, which has been traced back to 2013, involves more than one billion compromised accounts, making it the largest known data breach of all time. Compared to some of its competitors, Yahoo’s efforts to secure its data have been underwhelming. Financial firms that consider security a second priority should take note.
  1. The 2016 election: Cyber security has been a prominent part of the political discussion in the 2016 election. There were, of course, the many headline stories covering investigations over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Then, anxieties about election fraud increased when hackers demonstrated how easily voting machines could be exploited. Eclipsing both of these stories, however, was the alleged attempt of Russian hackers to interfere with the election’s outcome. Nation-state backed hackers were suspected of hacking into the DNC’s servers and releasing classified information through Wiki Leaks to sway public opinion in favor of Donald Trump. Although the impact of the actions are unclear, Russian hackers could gain a boost in confidence if they perceive a victory here. This, of course, could spell bad news for the finance industry and virtually any other.

As regulators tighten compliance standards and hackers raise the sophistication of their exploits, it will be critical for financial firms to enhance their cyber security in 2017. Whether it’s support for meeting SEC compliance standards, assessing vulnerabilities, or launching a full-scale managed security program, Gotham Security is here to help your firm get where you need to be in the coming year.

For more information on how Gotham Security can support your financial firm, contact us today at 917.734.4120 or