Financial institutions have long been top targets for cybercrime – and amid COVID-19 attackers are putting financial institutions directly in their crosshairs, according to a new report from VMware Carbon Black.

Released today, the third annual Modern Bank Heists Report reveals that since the beginning of February to the end of April 2020, global attacks targeting the financial sector have grown by 238%, while ransomware attacks against the financial sector are up 9x in the same timeframe.

The Modern Bank Heists Report takes an annual pulse of some of the financial industry’s top CISOs and security leaders from around the globe. In addition to seeing an increase in attacks since the onset of COVID-19, the report also found that 80% of financial institutions surveyed reported an increase in cyberattacks over the past 12 months (a 13% increase over 2019), while 82% of surveyed financial institutions said cybercriminals have become more sophisticated over the past 12 months.

Cybercriminals are evolving in both attack sophistication and organization. The financial sector is the most secure industry in the world, but it is also actively targeted by cybercriminals and nation-states, more than ever before – calling for close attention to how those in charge of security respond to these threat actors and their ultimate goals.

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