How Marketing Poses A Cybersecurity Threat to Banking Business

Emma Middleton
CMO, ProtectBox
Oct 28th, 2022

The banking industry is increasingly adopting digitalization. However, this shift in technology has also brought about new cybersecurity risks for financial institutions. In particular, marketing poses a threat to the security of banking businesses because it often fails to integrate cybersecurity measures into its overall strategy. This article will explore how marketing can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks and discuss why it’s so important for a comprehensive security solution to be implemented across all departments within your organization.

What are the Risks?

In order to protect your bank’s cybersecurity, you need to make sure that your marketing team is aware of the risks and proper procedures.
Here are some common examples of how marketing teams can inadvertently threaten cybersecurity with their processes:

  • Marketing teams often send bulk emails without considering the risk of email bombs. This can cause damage to your company’s reputation, as well as put other employees at risk by slowing down productivity or causing a Denial-of-Service attack on their computer systems.

  • Marketing teams often use poorly secured third-party tools for managing customer data. This could lead to information being compromised if a malicious actor gains access to these tools (such as through an intrusion into an employee’s personal device) resulting in stolen personal information or financial records from customers who’ve shopped with your bank before!

Digitalization has become the norm in banking. Without a complete strategy, marketing can pose serious cyber risks to banking businesses.

Phishing Attacks

One way that marketing poses a threat is through phishing scams. A phishing scam is an email or text message that looks like it came from a trusted source but actually contains malicious software designed to collect your personal information or expose you to viruses. It’s the most common type of cyberattack.

A phishing email will appear to be from a reputable company, but it actually contains malware that can infect your computer or phone if you click on the link or attachment. You may also receive an email from someone pretending to be one of your friends and asking for personal information—this is known as spoofing. For example, if you’ve just opened an online banking account with Bank A and received an email from Bank B pretending to be them asking for your username and password so they can “help” fix some issues with your account, this would fall under spoofing attacks because there’s no reason why Bank B would contact you out of the blue (unless they wanted to steal money).

Spyware and Malware Attacks

Spyware and malware are two of the most common types of software threats. They’re usually bundled together, but they can be used separately or together. The difference is that spyware records keystrokes and other information on your computer, while malware damages or disables computers by installing unwanted programs.

Spyware is also used to steal personal information from banking customers so hackers can use it to commit fraud or identity theft. Malware has been known to infect computers with viruses that disable antivirus software so that these types of attacks go undetected for longer periods of time.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks

A MitM attack is a type of cyberattack whereby the attacker intercepts, modifies and relays a communication between two parties without either party being aware.
In banking, a MitM attack can happen in several ways:

  • The attacker intercepts online banking sessions (often with malware)
  • Attacker impersonates one or more banks on their website or mobile app (i.e., changing the URL) to trick end users into providing sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, login credentials for third-party services like e-mail accounts or social media accounts, credit card details etc., all leading up to identity theft and financial loss by the victim.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are a form of cyber attack that can be carried out by an individual or a group. They may also be used in combination with other hacking techniques to steal information. The goal of this type of attack is to overwhelm the target’s network or website, either by flooding it with useless data so that legitimate users cannot access it, or by taking control of the system and shutting it down altogether. Imagine you have a credit union or bank that offers professional mortgage services, and a vital consultation or session is interrupted by a cyber-attack. That would significantly repel current and prospective clients from your institution if they receive the impression that their finances are not well-secured.

Network System Breaches

Network system breaches can be caused by many things, including the use of unsecure networks. Network system breaches can cause data loss and financial loss to the bank. They can also damage the reputation of the bank.
These breaches can be prevented by using secure networks that are not accessible from outside sources or connections to other devices that may have been compromised.

  • We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of how marketing poses cyber risks to banking businesses. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the risks of an attack will only increase. The challenge for banks and marketers alike is to stay ahead of these threats.

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