Cyber Trends: The Impact of Bots on The Finance Industry



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Good Bots vs Bad Bots for Financial Services

Computer and Internet bots are becoming an extremely resourceful tool for all types of organizations as business processes become more digitalised.

A latest example of this is Machine Learning (ML) Chatbots acquired by Financial Services, particularly for mortgages and investments. In most cases, ML bots operate over a network and use a combination of rules and intellectual independence to respond to customers. Additionally, they may also use pattern matching, natural language processing and natural language generation tools.

There are many advantages of using bots such as; they are available 24/7, they improve the user experience, they can reduce labour costs for organisations and they can respond to a huge scale of customers in a short period of time.

As noted by the Chatbots Journal 2017, one of the biggest benefits to the banks using these chatbots, is that they help in overcoming challenges such as the Increasing Financial Regulations as they can allocate more overhead to managing secure banking systems.

Despite the obvious benefits of the new bot technology to the Financial Sector, such as the automation of traditionally time consuming tasks, it also breeds more potential for cyber attacks. For example, exploitation of even a single flaw in the ML system can lead to vulnerabilities across multiple fronts, possibly extending to the access of customer accounts.

So, how are bad actors improving their methods?

The answer is … smart bots at a huge scale. Motivated by financial gain, the Financial Industry is a prime target for these bad bots.

Recent cyber trends have highlighted the cyber risk that comes with bots. According to “The Bad Bot Report 2021, The Pandemic of The Internet”, Account Takeover attacks spiked as 2020 drew to a close, with attacks to Financial Services websites showing a 51% increase. Not only was there such a spike in the number of these attacks, there was also an increase in the level of sophistication with 62.6% showing a moderate sophistication.

The same report continues to highlight that such companies typically suffer from bad bots attempting to access user accounts using Credential Stuffing or Credential Cracking, Credit Card Fraud and Custom Content Theft such as frequently changing interest rates.

How can Bot Mitigation protect against Malicious Bots?

A Bot Mitigation Solution is part of a larger application security strategy. To simplify how bot mitigation works, it involves the identification of bot traffic entering its network and blocking out malicious bots, whilst allowing the good bots to operate as intended. A number of steps are required to successfully protect a network from potentially malicious bots, from using anti-virus software, to installing a firewall and including a bot manager as part of a web app security platform.

Get in touch with a member of our team today by emailing info@airnowcybersecurity.com to learn more about bot mitigation and the range of solutions that are available.