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Traceable AI Report: API Security Emerges as Top Concern for Financial Sector Amid Increasing Threats

Traceable AI Report: API Security Emerges as Top Concern for Financial Sector Amid Increasing Threats

Survey further reveals 42% of financial institutions that experienced API-related data breaches attribute the attacks to fraud, abuse, and misuse; majority (82%) concerned about regulatory compliance

Traceable AI, the industry’s leading API security company, today released an in-depth report exposing the state of API security in the financial services industry. The study surveyed over 150 cybersecurity professionals in the United States, uncovering critical vulnerabilities, concerns, and current API security practices in the financial sector.

The proliferation of APIs in the financial services industry has created a vast and complex attack surface that traditional security measures cannot adequately protect. As APIs become deeply embedded in critical operations, the challenges posed by their widespread adoption are becoming more evident. The report’s findings underscore the growing complexity of the API ecosystem and the potential consequences of failing to address their security issues effectively.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. Increased regulatory pressures drive API security priorities: 82% of financial institutions expressed moderate to extreme concern about complying with federal financial regulations, including FFIEC, OCC, and CFPB, and 76% are concerned about PCI-DSS compliance as it relates to their API security posture.
  2. Lack of visibility and context: 64% of respondents do not have the ability to understand the context between API activity, user activity, data flow, and code execution, hindering their ability to detect and respond to API-based threats effectively.
  3. APIs as gateways to sensitive data: APIs in financial organizations commonly handle personally identifiable information (60%), account authentication data (60%), payment card details (56%), and device and location data (55%), making them prime targets for attackers.
  4. Top API security challenges: Detecting and preventing unauthorized access to accounts (35%), sensitive data exfiltration (33%), and identifying API vulnerabilities (30%) are the most pressing API security concerns for financial institutions.
  5. Fraud and abuse reign supreme: 42% of respondents who experienced an API-related data breach cite fraud, abuse, and misuse as the root cause, and only 15% are extremely confident in their ability to detect and prevent API-based fraud and abuse.
  6. Devastating consequences: The impact of API-related breaches in the financial sector is far-reaching, with data loss and brand reputation damage (both 41%) topping the list of repercussions, followed by financial loss (36%) and customer attrition (35%).

“The findings of this report serve as a reality check for our industry. While financial organizations understand the importance of API security, many are still struggling with basic challenges,” said Richard Bird, Chief Security Officer at Traceable and former CISO in the financial services industry.

“As security leaders, we can’t afford to be caught off guard by the growing threats of fraud and malicious bots that are constantly looking for ways to exploit API vulnerabilities,” Bird continues. “This report is a call to action for all of us to take a hard look at what we’re doing now and work together to prioritize and implement effective security measures. The stakes are high, and we need to step up and lead the charge in securing our API ecosystems.”

To gain actionable insights for strengthening API security in financial services, download the full report.

For a deeper dive into the findings and expert recommendations, register for the upcoming webinar, “The State of API Security in Financial Services,” on June 17 at 10am PT, featuring Richard Bird. Secure your spot today.

Press Release by Traceable AI

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