Banking on Asia Pacific Financial Services’ DNS Security in a Digital Area

This week’s blog comes to us from our very own Nick Itta, VP Sales APAC.

Ten years ago, the world was rocked by a financial crisis that prompted economic cataclysm. Today, financial institutions are challenged by a new set of risks and considerations standing at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Indeed, their greatest risks are no longer solely the consequences of poor policy or politics. One of the biggest risks facing our financial institutions – and global economy – today are cyber-threats.

EfficientIP’s research over the past four years has consistently found that the financial services industry is a primary target for DNS attacks. The 2018 Global DNS Threat Report shows that the sector now faces the highest cost per attack at an average of USD $924,000. In the Asia Pacific region, more than 75 percent of organisations in our report were subject to a DNS attack – nearly one-third of which resulted in data theft.

However, the greatest impact isn’t fiscal; it’s personal – personal data. Though data protection policies like PDPA and GDPR are setting a global standard for data protection implementation, financial institutions, especially in APAC, are struggling to reconcile with these increasingly elaborate attacks.

94 percent of businesses in the finance sector declared that DNS is critical for their business, yet financial institutions in the Asia Pacific remain extremely vulnerable to DNS attacks. This could be in large part due to security components of their infrastructural development failing to keep at pace with the rapid evolution of cybercrime. As such, it has become crucial for network security ecosystems to incorporate purpose-built DNS security.

This is becoming increasingly apparent as financial institutions across the region are exposed to attacks that not only affect their businesses, but also their customers.  A number of major Vietnamese banks, including Techcombank and VPBank, have recently flagged a series of phishing and DNS attacks potentially compromising their customers’ information. This follows a trend that shows phishing and DNS-based malware are the two most common attacks occurring in the region, according to our research. And, though banks in the country are now assessing how they can improve their cybersecurity (as mandated by the government), financial institutions must prioritise advancing an agenda that proactively – not reactively – mitigates DNS risks that are irrefutably imminent.

Earlier in the year, The Edge reported that financial institutions in the Asia Pacific and around the globe are taking steps to invest in technology as a means of improving cybersecurity. For the Bank of East Asia, taking this step forward has also meant embracing digitalisation at-large. In August, the Hong Kong-based bank shared that they have scaled back their physical branch presence by 20% over the past three years in order to expand their digital banking capabilities while also making significant investments in bringing their cybersecurity measures to scale.

As financial institutions in the Asia Pacific seek to expand customer accessibility by increasing their digital presence, it is imperative that DNS security is at the centre of their evolutionary strategy. Customers in the region should be able to bank on the security of the financial institutions in which they invest and trust with their personal data.

With a combination of five products working together to secure networks, the EfficientIP 360° DNS Security Solution protects businesses, both internally and externally, from DNS attacks, ensuring business continuity and customers’ confidence in the safety of their data. The need for better DNS security in Asia’s financial services sector is clear. But, then again, so is the solution.