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Financial Institutions Are Suffering From Increasingly Sophisticated Cyberattacks, According to Contrast Security

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LOS ALTOS, Calif., Feb. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Contrast Security (Contrast), the code security platform built for developers and trusted by security, today released its Cyber Bank Heists report, an annual report that exposes the cybersecurity threats facing the financial sector.

Authored by Contrast’s Senior Vice President of Cyber Strategy Tom Kellermann, the report is a warning to global financial institutions (FIs) that security must be a top-of-mind issue amid rising geopolitical tensions, increased destructive attacks utilizing wipers and a record-breaking year of zero-day exploits. Financial sector security leaders from around the world – in a series of interviews – revealed specific trends when it comes to notable cyberattacks, e-fraud and cyber defense. Some of the most eye-opening results from the report include:

  • 60% were victimized by destructive attacks
  • 64% saw an increase in application attacks, while 50% experienced attacks against their APIs
  • 48% experienced an increase in wire transfer fraud
  • 50% have detected campaigns to steal non-public market information
  • 54% of the banks were most concerned with the cyber threat posed by Russia
  • 72% plan to invest more in application security in 2023

“The increase of online threats, phishing, ransomware attacks, account takeovers and business email compromises impacting the financial sector is growing every day and we can see in real-time the damage this is doing to the longevity of businesses and the impact it’s having on our economy,” said Derek Booth, Assistant to the Special-Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Secret Service and Head of the Mountain West Cyber Fraud Task Force. “I applaud Tom Kellermann for speaking with some of the most influential people within the sector to determine solutions that can better protect FIs against vulnerabilities in banks and methods of commerce through industry-wide transparency.”

“The complexity of securing financial digital systems and the need to develop new ways to guard against sophisticated cyberattacks has increased exponentially in the last year. In response, FIs are fighting to evolve and create more effective prevention, detection and response to these damaging attacks,” said Booth.

“Cybersecurity can no longer be viewed as an expense but rather a functionality of conducting business. Trust and confidence in the safety of FIs depend on effectively mitigating and responding to cyberattacks,” said Kellermann.

The report provides helpful guidance, and specific defensive countermeasures to defend against growing cybercrime conspiracies and cyberespionage including:

  1. Deploy intelligent runtime protection
  2. Conduct weekly threat hunting
  3. Deploy AppSec for serverless platforms
  4. Defend your APIs
  5. Add a cybersecurity specialist to your board

“The financial sector needs to shift its thinking when it comes to attacks, as geo-political tensions manifest via cyberattacks. Cybercrime cartels are modernizing their criminal conspiracies so as to steal non-market information and destroy the integrity of sensitive data within financial institutions,” said Kellermann. “This is no longer a question of duty of care but rather a duty of loyalty to the digital safety of customers. That is why the Cyber Bank Heists report not only highlights these trends but depicts countermeasures that can help institutions defend from within.”

Booth will be joining Kellermann for a LinkedIn Live roundtable discussion at 9:00am PST on Tuesday, February 7 and a live webinar at 9:00am PST on Thursday, February 23 to discuss their reactions to the report and the financial security risks impacting organizations this year. Contrast also published a three-part blog series that dives deeper into cyberattack trends, e-fraud, and defensive shifts

To download the Cyber Bank Heists report, please visit FIs can also request a demo of Contrast’s financial capabilities by visiting

About Cyber Bank Heists report: 

Authored by Contrast’s Senior Vice President of Cyber Strategy Tom Kellermann, the annual Cyber Bank Heist report includes findings from interviews conducted with global financial sector leaders focusing on the current state of security threats and the defensive shifts made by cybercriminals. The report provides an analysis of geopolitical tensions, destructive attacks and zero-day exploits from the previous year. It also offers specific defensive countermeasures that should be employed by FIs to protect against growing cybercrime conspiracies and cyberespionage. To learn more about the annual Cyber Bank Heists report, please visit

About the Author Tom Kellermann: 

Tom Kellermann is the Senior Vice President of Cyber Strategy at Contrast Security, Inc. Previously, Tom held the positions of Head of Cybersecurity Strategy for VMware, Inc. and Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Carbon Black, Inc., wherein he authored the “Modern Bank Heist report” for the past five years. In 2020, he was appointed to the Cyber Investigation Advisory Board for the United States Secret Service. On Jan. 19, 2017, Tom was appointed the Wilson Center’s Global Fellow for Cybersecurity Policy. Tom previously held the positions of Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Trend Micro, Inc., Vice President of Security for Core Security and Deputy CISO for the World Bank Treasury. In 2008, Tom was appointed a commissioner on the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS’) Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President of the United States. In 2003, he co-authored the Book “Electronic Safety and Soundness: Securing Finance in a New Age.”

About Contrast Security (Contrast):

A world leading code security platform company purposely built for developers to get secure code moving swiftly and trusted by security teams to protect business applications. Developers, security and operations teams quickly secure code across the complete software development life cycle (SDLC) with Contrast to protect against today’s targeted application security (AppSec) attacks. Contrast also makes security testing available to all developers for free with CodeSec.

Founded in 2014 by cybersecurity industry veterans, Contrast was established to replace legacy AppSec solutions that cannot protect modern enterprises. With today’s pressures to develop business applications at increasingly rapid paces, the Contrast Secure Code Platform defends and protects against full classes of common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs). This allows security teams to avoid spending time on focusing false positives and remediate true vulnerabilities faster. Contrast’s platform solutions for code assessment, testing, protection, serverless, supply chain, APIs and languages help enterprises achieve true DevSecOps transformation and compliance.

Contrast protects against major cybersecurity attacks for its customer base which represents some of the largest brand-name companies in the world, including BMW, AXA, Zurich, NTT, SOMPO Japan and American Red Cross, as well as numerous other leading global Fortune 500 enterprises. Contrast partners with global organizations such as AWS, Microsoft, IBM Cloud, Guidepoint Security, Trace3, Deloitte and Carahsoft, to seamlessly integrate and achieve the highest level of security for customers.

The growing demand for the world’s only platform for code security has landed the company on some of the most prestigious lists including the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies and has designated Contrast as one of the fastest growing companies on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 List.

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