Modern Bank Heists 4.0

April 14, 2021

This marks the fourth edition of the Modern Bank Heists report, which annually takes the pulse of some of the financial industry’s top CISOs and security leaders. Thank you, again, for reading along, and thank you to the 126 security leaders who participated in this year’s study. 48 percent of the financial institutions (FIs) are headquartered in North America, 28 percent are in Europe, 16 percent are in Asia and the Middle East, and 8 percent are based in Latin America.

We hope this report serves to provide a ground truth on the evolution of cybercriminal cartels and the defensive shift of the financial sector. In this year’s report, CISOs revealed what they’re seeing with attack prevalence and evolution. Our questions tackled topics including suspicious activity, counter incident response, island hopping, and integrity attacks. As evidenced by the findings, the bank heist has evolved significantly—from a heist to a hostage situation for financial institutions.

“Once again, this year’s Modern Bank Heists report underscores the growing sophistication, tenacity and downright cruelty of the cybercriminal underworld. Throughout 2020, as the United States and our partners struggled to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s most dangerous cybercriminals dramatically stepped up their criminal activities, redirecting their campaigns to target the most vulnerable groups in our community—the poor, the elderly, and the sick. Criminal groups launched a torrent of fraud scams, ransomware attacks, and phishing campaigns, all aimed at profiting off of the unprecedented fear and anxiety caused by a once in a lifetime public health emergency. Their actions over the past year only serve to highlight the continued urgency of forcefully investigating, prosecuting and ultimately convicting these truly reprehensible actors. The U.S. Secret Service stands ready to help ensure that these criminals are held to account.”

Jonah Force Hill, Cybersecurity Strategist, U.S. Secret Service

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Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Financial industry