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How not to lose $13 million in a day.

The latest cyber heist worth $13 million is yet another reminder that financial crime is always evolving, and evolving fast.

The days of tunnelling into vaults or forging signatures have largely gone and a new breed of cyber criminal has taken over. Financial institutions need to up their defences, and there are lessons for all industries too.

In the space of twenty-four hours in March this year, the American firm claiming to be the world’s largest processor of pre-paid debit cards lost $13 million, withdrawn fraudulently from approximately 260 ATMs across six countries*.

What should put all security professionals on alert about this are not the nitty-gritty details of how it was done, or even the sum stolen, but rather the speed and level of organisation displayed. It was the speed of the heist that helped avoid detection by fraud systems and the highly-organised approach that maximised the amount taken, lining up so many participants to drain ATM cash stocks over a wide area.

It’s not cost-effective to seek to protect your organisation absolutely from every possible type of security threat. But it is both possible and cost-effective to put in place multi-faceted layers of security to give your organisation appropriate levels of defence against likely forms of attack. Cyber crime will continue to develop, and your defences must stay current and strong.

No one wants to lose $13 million in a day. So review your security regularly and consider the additional support of a managed service.

BT’s global security practice is ready to help you with any aspect of ICT security, from an external snapshot of your position and vulnerabilities (ethical hacking), through to a managed security monitoring service that frees you up to focus on your core business.

*All figures in this article taken from the blog, 2011.

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