Technology Record - Issue 24: Spring 2022

92 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E The financial services industry remains one of the top three sectors targeted by ransomware, according to Microsoft’s 2021 Digital Defense Report. Europe, Asia and the USA remain the most attacked regions because of the concentration of financial services industries in these areas. “Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication and are deliberately targeting core business systems to maximise the impact of the attack or likelihood of a ransomware payout,” says Bill Borden, corporate vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft. “This has been accelerated in recent years with the advent of ‘as a service’ cybercrime and digital currencies which allow an even wider range of criminal organisations around the world to monetise cybercrime – with a particular focus on key sectors like financial services and healthcare.” What’s more, as the remote workforce has expanded the attack surface, the threat landscape has become increasingly sophisticated. “This is an area of increasing focus and is being watched closely by financial services regulators,” says Borden. “Persistent, evolving attacks are reminders that we must act decisively on all fronts in new ways to reinforce cybersecurity measures for industries and individuals.” As financial services companies navigate the evolving threats and safeguards, they must address two competing needs. They must deliver customer experiences, with innovation and attention dedicated to meeting customers where they are. But they must also thwart cybercriminals, fraudsters and money launderers by implementing strong cybersecurity and data protection policies and practices. It’s here that an integrated cloud platform can really deliver results. “By using a platform to manage data and security posture, financial services companies can put themselves in a stronger position to address both needs,” says Borden. “As well as facilitating better customer experiences, an integrated cloud platform can help achieve in The threat landscape has become increasingly sophisticated, not least for financial services firms who are grappling with the competing needs to better serve customers, while also thwarting cybercriminals. Bill Borden tells us how Microsoft and its partner community are positioned to help BY L I ND S AY J AME S Navigating threats financial services