Your Financials and Our Commitment to your Cybersecurity Needs

FPV & Galíndez is fully committed to protecting investors and the public interest by providing the highest quality auditing, tax, accounting, and consulting services. Professional services involving the investment, lending, and management of money and assets keep society running on all levels. Understanding clearly the needs of our clients and projecting the ever-evolving financial reporting ecosystem elevates the caliber of our work and continued drive to excellence.  This is highlighted by our firm’s awareness of the cybersecurity needs of our clientele.

In the past year, our world has taken an enormous leap into a virtual environment and that includes finances. As organizations adopt emerging technologies and data analytics, there is a fundamental change in the way financial information is reported, how audits are conducted, and ultimately how our profession performs its work.  From private individuals to global trade and commerce, there is a full digitalization of financial services rapidly underway – and cybercriminals are taking note. Technology does offer the promise of combining increased efficiency with improved effectiveness, resulting in enhanced quality of financial reporting services. But despite these promises, the technology also presents real risks.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Central Bank and other financial institutions have suffered a significant increase in cyberattacks. Just like in other sectors, the pandemic has triggered a sudden and rapid increase of employees working from home. The need for digitalization of banking services has also strongly increased due to this pandemic. While cyber threats are not new, this strange and uncertain context has changed the cybersecurity game and risks are more present. Unauthorized access to information systems and data presents a significant threat. Amplifying this threat is how interconnected we all are to one another through technology and communication networks and systems. This interconnection occurs through domestic and international telecommunications, financial, retail, and host sale payment, and clearing and settlement systems. Then we have the use of the Internet. A key characteristic of the Internet is interoperability—the ability for different networks, systems, and devices, as well as applications, to connect, exchange, and use data across organizations and sovereign borders. When these were designed, security was an afterthought at best. Financial data is constantly at risk. Notice this real financial servies cyber stats:

  • 70% ranked cybersecurity as a top concern: According to the Sixth Annual Bank Survey by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, 70% of those surveyed ranked cybersecurity as their top concern.
  • The cost of a cyberattack is $18.3m: In a report from Accenture and the Ponemon Institute “Unlocking the Value of Improved Cybersecurity Protection,” they claim that the cost of cyberattacks is highest in the banking industry, reaching $18.3 million annually per company.
  • 70% of companies experienced a security incident: According to the 2019 report by Clearswift, “The Unknown Threat Report“, 70% of financial companies have experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past year.
  • 10% of IT budget is spent on cyber: According to Deloitte’s report, “Pursuing Cybersecurity Maturity at Financial Institutions“, these institutions shell out on average 0.3% of revenue and 10% of their IT budget to cybersecurity, compared to 6.1% of IT budget and 1.2 – 3% of revenue for retail and wholesale services.
  • 352,771 exposed sensitive files in the financial sector: According to the 2019 Data Risk Report by Varonis, the Financial services had 352,771 exposed sensitive files on average while Healthcare, Pharma, and Biotech have 113,491 files on average — the highest when comparing industries.
  • 26% of financial institutions suffered a destructive cyberattack: A research project performed by Carbon Black on major security breaches found that 26% of surveyed financial institutions admitted they suffered a destructive cyberattack. 
  • When compared to the numbers at the beginning of 2018, this represented an increase of 160%. And 79% of the corporate information security officers surveyed said attacks on financial institutions were becoming more and more sophisticated and destructive.

 

Financial services are critical to our well-being. This is why cybersecurity will be an ongoing concern for financial services. A security breach could cause a global financial catastrophe, if not the final blow of covid-19. With these real threats, businesses need a comprehensive IT strategy for a digital and technological transformation of their organization that goes in line with their business objectives and provides real protection. Our team of experts who understand the IT strategies and technologies needed, along with the seriousness of protecting financial data, can certainly maximize any operation they have access to. Learn more about our experts and what they can do for your organization.

 

 

About the author: Wilfredo Vera Pujols, CISA, CDPSE

A skilled consultant in the areas of Internal Audits and Compliance, Vera holds a BBA in Information Services from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and a Master’s in Computer Sciences from the illustrious Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He has used his excellent preparation in the last 3 years of his specialty in Auditing and Consulting, Internal Controls, and SOX for our diverse clientele. Among some of his major clients are Evertec, Triple S of Puerto Rico, and Banco Popular, to name a few. We are sure that this ISACA member, along with the expertise of FPV & Galíndez’s skilled Consulting Department will provide strategic solutions for any IT and Cybersecurity needs your organization may have.