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Ransomware Resilience: Navigating Threats in the U.S. Financial Sector

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Ransomware attacks have emerged as a critical and escalating threat to the financial services industry, with the sector experiencing unprecedented impact. Among the most targeted industries, financial services face persistent attacks from ransomware groups, primarily utilising trojans to infiltrate systems and execute encryption protocols.

This cyber threat, characterised by malicious software that encrypts data and extorts payment for decryption, poses a substantial risk to critical services, businesses, and communities globally. Despite its formidable challenges, recent initiatives and advancements in cybersecurity offer a ray of hope in the ongoing battle against ransomware, aiming to enhance resilience and safeguard digital assets.

Recent industry reports highlight the escalating costs of ransomware attacks, averaging around US$1.85 million for companies to recover. This alarming trend is compounded by the fact that 80% of victims who pay the ransom are targeted again, underscoring the persistent nature of this threat and the need for measures.

In response to this growing menace, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has launched the Ransomware Vulnerability Warning Pilot (RVWP). This initiative aims to reduce risks by directly engaging with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and critical infrastructure entities. By providing timely notifications and leveraging existing resources and technologies, RVWP helps organisations fortify their networks against ransomware attacks.

A key component of RVWP is the Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning service, which monitors internet-connected devices for vulnerabilities. Participating organisations have significantly reduced risk and exposure, with many experiencing improvements within the first 90 days. This service is instrumental in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities commonly exploited by ransomware, enhancing overall cybersecurity posture.

In 2023, RVWP issued 1,754 notifications to entities operating vulnerable devices. Of these, 49% of devices were patched, implemented compensating controls, or taken offline following notification from CISA. This demonstrates the effectiveness of RVWP in driving timely mitigation efforts and protecting critical infrastructure.

By hardening networks against known vulnerabilities, RVWP helps disrupt ransomware gang operations, increasing operational costs and deterring future attacks. This collaborative approach and the Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning service have enabled over 7,600 organisations across all sectors to identify and mitigate over 3 million known vulnerabilities since 2022.

Organisations are encouraged to use the no-cost Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning service to enhance their cybersecurity posture and reduce business risk. The #StopRansomware Guide also provides valuable insights on responding to ransomware incidents and safeguarding organisations against future attacks.

Previously, as reported by OpenGov Asia, the United States has been actively implementing strategies to tackle ransomware attacks. One of the notable approaches highlighted in the report is the issuance of reports by the G7 Cyber Expert Group (CEG) focused on ransomware and third-party risk within the financial sector.

These reports assist financial entities in comprehending cybersecurity matters better and bolstering their defences against cyber threats. By offering guidance and best practices, these reports enable financial institutions to more effectively mitigate ransomware threats and manage risks associated with third-party services. Furthermore, the collaborative effort of G7 jurisdictions in developing these reports underscores the global commitment to bolstering the financial sector’s resilience against cyber threats.

This year, by partnering with CISA and adopting cybersecurity measures, organisations can protect their digital assets, achieve measurable improvements in cybersecurity, and safeguard their reputation and future.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.