Bank Cyber Attacks Pose Warning to Corporate Clients

Treasuries should reassess disaster recovery plans in light of DDOS attacks on bank Web sites.

Should corporate treasuries be worried by the recent rash of cyber attacks that hackers sprung on leading U.S. financial institutions throughout September and October?  According to treasury security experts, the answer is a qualified “yes.”

The distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on the Web sites of Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust Banks, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo “were more disruptive for retail clients rather than corporate clients,” says Paul LaRock, a principal at consultancy Treasury Strategies.

LaRock suggests both a hi-tech and low-tech approach allowing treasuries to avoid connectivity outages as a result of DDOS attacks. Companies could transact business with their banks over a secure private network like the one run by bank messaging cooperative Swift. They could also develop and implement manual treasury processes to use during a connectivity outage.

Both strategies provide a workaround for DDOS-based outages, but each has its issues.

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