Next big financial crisis could be ‘triggered by cyber-attack’

The New York State Department for Financial Services (DFS) has warned that the next significant financial crisis could be triggered by a cyber-attack, following an investigation into the industry’s response to the SolarWinds Attack.

During the attack, hackers corrupted routine software updates that were downloaded onto thousands of organisations’ IT systems.

“This incident confirms that the next great financial crisis could come from a cyber-attack,” said superintendent of financial services, Linda A. Lacewell. “Seeing hackers get access to thousands of organisations in one stroke underscores that cyber-attacks threaten not just individual companies but also the stability of the financial industry as a whole.”

In its report, the DFS identifies a number of cybersecurity measures as critical practices, including: fully assessing third party risk, adopting a “zero trust” approach, implementing multiple layers of security, timely addressing of vulnerabilities through patch deployment, testing, and validation, and addressing supply chain compromise in incident response plans.

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