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Global Cybersecurity Trends: Insights for Financial Leaders


One in ten cyberattacks affected the financial industry in 2023, making it one of the five most targeted industries for cyberattacks in the Nordic region, according to our yearly report, the Global Threat Intelligence Report.

The Financial Sector’s Vulnerability to Cyber Risks  

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) notes that the financial sector is uniquely exposed to cyber risks due to the large amounts of sensitive data and transactions handled. The Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) from NTT Security, which includes the Nordic region, also shows that the financial industry is one of the five most affected sectors by cyberattacks in 2023. GTIR contains detailed statistics on the number of cyberattacks worldwide from our security centers. Let’s dvelve into the key findings:

Data Leaks: A Critical Concern for Financial Institutions

One in ten (11 percent) of cybercrime victims in the Nordic region belong to the financial sector, which is the fourth most attacked sector after the manufacturing industry (34 percent), the technology sector (18 percent), and retail (14 percent). In two out of three (67 percent) attacks against the Nordic financial sector, victim data was also leaked, according to the report.

– Since the financial sector is a central part of our society, it is extremely serious that it is so exposed to cyber threats. Cybersecurity needs to be prioritized higher in general, and it is especially important for the financial sector, which handles sensitive data from almost all Swedes, to have cybersecurity measures in place to protect consumers and businesses, says Joel Cedersjö, cybersecurity expert at NTT Security.

Ransomware Surge: Threats and Unreported Cases

One of the worst types of cyberattacks is ransomware attacks. These attacks aim to encrypt victims’ data, making the files unusable until a ransom is paid. Globally, these have increased by 67 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year. In 2023, more than 5,000 victims were subjected to ransomware attacks compared to about 3,000 victims in 2022.

– There is most likely a large number of unrecorded cases when it comes to this type of attack. Ransomware can potentially be devastating for a business, and therefore some companies choose to pay ransoms to release their locked data without the attack being noted in the statistics. Only five percent of ransomware attacks in Sweden are reported to the police, according to the police’s national operational department, Noa. Companies are afraid to reveal weaknesses, shame, worry about lost reputation, and a lack of belief that the crimes will be solved, says Fredrik Olsson, Managing Director Europe at NTT Security.

Most common cyberattacks globally:

1. Trojans: 13 percent

2. Backdoors in organizations’ networks: 11 percent

3. Attacks via penetration testing tools: 10 percent

4. Generic malware: 9 percent

5. Botnet-infected networks: 8 percent

Most attacked sectors globally:

1. Manufacturing industry: 26 percent

2. Technology sector: 21 percent

3. Financial sector: 11 percent

4. Transportation sector: 10 percent

5. Public sector: 8 percent

Download the Global Threat Intelligence Report 2024 report here.

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