What the Capital One Hack Means for Financial Networks

One of the largest data breaches ever occurred to one of the largest financial corporations in the country, Capital One. Over the span of two days, more than 100 million Capital One credit card applications were accessed.

The hack occurred in March, however it took months before Capital One was aware of the event. The suspect is Paige Thompson, a 33 year old, former software engineer from Amazon Web Services. By exploiting a misconfigured web application firewall, she was able to access the Amazon server hosting Capital One’s customer information. After hacking into the organization’s server, it wasn’t until July 17, that a tipster informed Capital One of the existence of the stolen information.1 Thompson gained access to credit scores, balances and addresses, along with:

  • 140,000 Social security numbers
  • 1 Million Canadian social insurance numbers
  • 80,000 Bank account numbers

Prevalence of Cyber Attacks

Finance is one of the top targeted industries when it comes to cyber-attacks. These types of institutions have a steady stream of sensitive customer information being entered into their databases making them an ideal target for hackers. Letitia James, General Attorney of New York was asked about the Capital One breach and stated, “It has become far too commonplace that financial institutions are susceptible to hacks, which raises questions like, why are these breaches occurring? Are companies doing enough to prevent future data breaches?

Dangers of Cyber Attacks in Finance

Just last year, more than 2 billion people were affected by data breaches and over the past decade some of the largest attacks have occurred with well known financial organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, Equifax and Citi Financial.2

Not only do these cyber attacks pose as a danger to customers, it also threatens the stability of a network. Downtime causes:

Lost Opportunities

Banks depend on the network for a multitude of reasons such as making transactions, transferring funds or processing applications. Not being able to complete such actions can lead to loss of customers and revenue.

Non-Compliance Fines

Highly regulated industries such as finance, have a large number of regulations to comply with in regards to global privacy, data and security. Any type of network downtime can cause non-compliance and result with million dollar fines.

Extending Your Reach

Many times, these types of disruptions occur in a remote branch, where without the proper solutions, network engineers don’t have the ability to quickly diagnose and remediate the issue. During a cyber attack, visibility is a necessity.

Opengear devices extend your reach, providing full visibility to remote sites. Smart Out-of-Band and Failover to Cellular enable engineers to securely access the network and continue to run applications needed to ensure business continuity while the issue is diagnosed. Providing a wide range of capabilities such as the ability to disable access to the impacted network equipment, disconnect the WAN connection to isolate an affected branch and even reconfigure devices to factory default, Opengear devices ensure that normal business operations aren’t effected by a cyber attack.

As these attacks continue to evolve, the likelihood that your bank may be affected increases.

To learn more about ensuring network resilience for your organization, read our white paper.

1. https://www.wired.com/story/capital-one-hack-credit-card-application-data/
2. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/top-10-finserv-data-breaches


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