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As well as corporations facing extensive cyberattacks, American retail businesses are also facing a surge in hackers who are trying to exploit their accounts and investment portfolios. An organization that oversees the financial market, finra (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), recently announced that it had received several complaints about customer accounts being hacked. It was reported that attackers used stolen customer information, namely login credentials, to hack into the brokerage accounts of online customers.
Increase in online fraud and theft(finra)
Market Watch reports that Ari Jacoby, EVP and co-founder of cybersecurity firm Deduce, says the number of account-takeover fraud attacks increased about 250% from 2019 to 2020. FINRA believes two factors might be responsible for the surge in account takeover incidents, and he told Security.org. “Account takeover prevention” is a $15 billion industry that is “growing each year significantly,” the official said.
Brokerage apps at the helm of damage
The first is the increase in the use of online services and brokerage apps, which hackers use as a way to break into accounts using login credentials and passwords that they obtain on the Darkweb. Due to the fact that many people use the same password combination for more than one account, hackers can easily find the login credentials of the customers. The Covid-19 factor is the second aspect. As more firms are operating online accounts and investors are engaging in more online transactions, FINRA is reporting an increase in reports of such attacks as mobile devices and other applications to proliferate and locations become less accessible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states FINRA.
Precautions are a “must” for brokerage apps
Securities and Exchange Commission agents are also closely monitoring this situation and insisting that brokerage firms keep an eye on suspicious activities. The publication points out that “although individual investors don’t need to wait for the SEC or FINRA to help them, they should be vigilant enough, such as requesting their broker to send them suspicious login alerts and using two-factor authentication in the first instance.”