Financial services are a lucrative target for cybercrimes carried out by nation-state and state-sponsored threat actors, ideological hacktivists, ransomware gangs, and Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups. Preferred attacks may involve phishing, malware, ransomware, web application, vulnerability exploitation, and distributed denial of service (DDoS). Incidents are becoming more frequent and sophisticated, resulting in compromised data, heavy financial losses, and impacted confidence in institutions.

Compounding the challenge to protect potentially valuable network data, is the interconnected nature of financial institutions. They are required to store and exchange client information with other organizations and databases to facilitate rapid decisions and transactions. CIOs must focus on securing their own network as well as mitigating the risks that external partners may introduce, all without disrupting business processes. Outdated legacy systems and digitizing financial services are additional factors increasing vulnerability and risk.