Akamai Technologies, Inc. has today released a new State of the Internet report that explores existing and emerging cyberattacks against the financial services industry. The new report, The High Stakes of Innovation: Attack Trends in Financial Services, finds that financial services is the third-most attacked vector in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, with approximately 1 billion web application and API attacks, which represents a significant 119% year-over-year increase when comparing Q2 2022 with Q2 2023.

In EMEA, insurance is by far the most attacked sub-vertical of financial services with 54.5% of all web attacks, which represents a 68% increase year over year. Insurance companies hold a huge amount of personally identifiable information, which makes them an attractive target for cybercriminals in contrast with other financial services organisations that hold mostly financial data.

The report also finds that as a region, EMEA experienced the most DDoS attack events (63.5% of attacks worldwide), which is nearly double the number in North America, the next top region (32.6%). The United Kingdom tops the list in EMEA at 29.2% of DDoS attack events, followed by Germany at 15.1%. Akamai surmises that the attacks on the European banks that are allies of Ukraine are financially and politically motivated by Russia’s continued war in Ukraine and are the primary reason for the increase in attack events in EMEA.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Between January 2022 and June 2023, DDoS attacks on financial services in EMEA equated to 1,466 of the 2,590 attack events across all verticals in EMEA and resulted in a 40% increase year over year in DDoS attacks when comparing Q2 2022 with Q2 2023
  • DDoS attack events against the gambling, commerce, and manufacturing verticals in EMEA each also exceeded all other regions combined
  • 24% of the scripts used by financial services organisations in EMEA come from third parties, which is notably lower than in other verticals (36%)

“As cybercriminals continue to follow the money, financial services remains a hugely attractive target. At the same, this is one of the most regulated sectors and hence it is essential for companies to align their security strategy with emerging laws and regulations,” said Richard Meeus, Akamai’s Director of Security Technology and Strategy, EMEA. “The High Stakes of Innovation: Attack Trends in Financial Services aims to provide insights that will equip this sector with the tools needed to improve security for their customers.”

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