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Financial Services

Criminals target financial firms because that’s where the money is.

Cybercrime hasn’t changed this, but it has ramped up the speed and the consequences. Firms should balance being open with being secure. As attacks increase and regulators take closer notice, the pressure to act mounts. By recognizing that hackers will find vulnerabilities, leaders can improve the way they design and deliver services, manage risks, and train their teams.

Cyber Threats
and Financial Services

Trust is the foundation of financial services, requiring institutions to preserve confidentiality, ensure system availability, and maintain data integrity to satisfy regulators and stakeholders. However, maintaining trust is increasingly challenging due to cybersecurity threats targeting the entire financial system and the introduction of new risks through digital transformation. Regulators now focus on systemic cyber risk and expect enhanced privacy protections, as customers demand secure handling of their confidential information across digital services.

Valor Visibility in Financial Services

Visibility Into Your Most Challenging Cybersecurity Risks

Top Risk Tracker

Risk Insight

An unauthorized individual compromises the confidentiality or integrity, and subsequently breaches the trust of the Merger and Acquisitions Process. This may be done by accessing either the corporate email accounts, file storage systems, or through social engineering (unsolicited but sometimes convincing discussions on social media channels) of the investment firm, supporting legal counsel, or prospective company. This may begin through an unprivileged internal employee or outside attacker reviewing and sharing confidential information. Beyond potential reputation damage and delays, this may also result in M&A deals falling apart. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

Through access to investment communication and emails an attacker is able to eventually to request redirection of investor funds. For example, company Autonomous Enterprises has reached the last step in their capital investment round of $1.4 Million with Private Equity Firm, Digital Storm Ventures. Having knowledge of this, the attacker messages the CFO of Digital Storm Ventures via Autonomous Enterprises CEO’s email account, requesting the funds be deposited into the corresponding bank account with routing information. Within 24 hours the funds clear, and the attacker has now successfully been able to redirect the transfer from the intended recipient, Autonomous Enterprises. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

With insurance firms continuing to experience record losses resulting from recent cyber insurance payouts, the insurance underwriting and approval process is under review with potential sweeping changes on the horizon. It is expected that firms will be moving away from the existing model where organizations where able to ‘self attest’ to existing security controls. Insurance companies are moving to security questionnaires coupled with formal security audits to validate that businesses are in fact incorporating security measures appropriate to the risk landscape. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

With expanding regulations at both the state and federal levels, organizations are now being required to report cyber breaches in most shorter time frames; typically within 48 hours or less. Inability to timely notify regulatory bodies and impacted customers/investors, of a data breach may lead to significant compliance penalties. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Vendor Exposure

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose Defense contractors to the most risk. No other tools exposes organizations to as much opportunity risk as productivity tools such as Microsoft 365, Google Suite and others. Defense contractors heavily utilize spreadsheets (Excel / Google Sheets), presentations (Powerpoint / Slides), and documents (Word / Docs). Much of the analysis and presentation of information happens in these ubiquitous applications.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. As with all companies, PE firms use software to track their finances and accounting. Because their finances are very tied with those of their portfolio companies, firms will often use a package that combines portfolio management and reporting with its own finance/accounting.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. Most PE firms will have an online portal set up for their LPs / investors to access important information and get notifications.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose defense companies to the most risk. Most Defense contractors lean heavily on data from subscription databases. Sites like CapIQ and Pitchbook provide data on financial transactions, which helps the contractor establish comps and get a sense for movement in the contract market.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. Most PE firms also use a system to keep track of the opportunities for investment that they’re evaluating. Common solutions include a custom Excel sheet or a traditional CRM like Salesforce. But there’s a new class of tracking software popping up that intelligently customizes data and workflows just for PE.

Recommended Actions

Guidance Overview

Leaders can be proactive in combating threats of information loss and theft. All personnel should be continuously trained on how to spot relevant threats (Phishing attempts, etc.) and what actions they should take should they encounter them. Training must be coupled with a strong and consistent security culture, where security teams and business leaders engage in regular discussions on how individuals can do their part to reduce risk, and why security matters to the organization. In addition, individuals should be coached to be leery of unsolicited social media contacts (such as on LinkedIn), and messages. Email accounts and data storage systems, responsible for deal flow data and due diligence activities should be protected with Multi-Factor Authentication or Passwordless Authentication, whenever possible. This provides an additional safety mechanism for account access, in the event a user login in information (username and password) is compromised.

Guidance Overview

In alignment with best practice, banking account information should NEVER be shared through email without proper data encryption in place. In addition, for every financial transactional request should be verified through the appropriate channels. In the event that a request for movement of funds occurs via email, the recipient should pick up the telephone and validate the information. An extra second or two of your time verifying before trusting, can potentially save you hours and months of future headaches and loss.

Guidance Overview

Whether you are seeking to obtain initial cyber insurance coverage, or renewing your existing policy, proactively preparing for the underwriting process will save you thousands of dollars in resources. One immediate step Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Firms can take is to perform a Cyber Insurance Readiness Assessment with a trusted cyber readiness partner. In alignment with insurance underwriting requirements, cyber experts will identify your businesses gaps both in information security policy and practices and deliver a strategic roadmap to close these gaps. Performing a Cyber Insurance Readiness Assessment today will most effectively position you and your business for coverage at an affordable price.

Guidance Overview

If not already in place, organizations should draft and socialize a formalized Incident Response Plan. An effective plan identifies key steps, stakeholders, and processes involved in the detection, reporting (to include cyber incident breach reporting) containment, and recovery of both cybersecurity and natural disaster incidents. In alignment with best practice, IR plans should be tested and updated at least annually, to ensure response activities are effective in reducing business impact.

Valor Visibility in Financial Services

Visibility Into Your Most Challenging Cybersecurity Risks

Risk Insight

An unauthorized individual compromises the confidentiality or integrity, and subsequently breaches the trust of the Merger and Acquisitions Process. This may be done by accessing either the corporate email accounts, file storage systems, or through social engineering (unsolicited but sometimes convincing discussions on social media channels) of the investment firm, supporting legal counsel, or prospective company. This may begin through an unprivileged internal employee or outside attacker reviewing and sharing confidential information. Beyond potential reputation damage and delays, this may also result in M&A deals falling apart. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

Through access to investment communication and emails an attacker is able to eventually to request redirection of investor funds. For example, company Autonomous Enterprises has reached the last step in their capital investment round of $1.4 Million with Private Equity Firm, Digital Storm Ventures. Having knowledge of this, the attacker messages the CFO of Digital Storm Ventures via Autonomous Enterprises CEO’s email account, requesting the funds be deposited into the corresponding bank account with routing information. Within 24 hours the funds clear, and the attacker has now successfully been able to redirect the transfer from the intended recipient, Autonomous Enterprises. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

With insurance firms continuing to experience record losses resulting from recent cyber insurance payouts, the insurance underwriting and approval process is under review with potential sweeping changes on the horizon. It is expected that firms will be moving away from the existing model where organizations where able to ‘self attest’ to existing security controls. Insurance companies are moving to security questionnaires coupled with formal security audits to validate that businesses are in fact incorporating security measures appropriate to the risk landscape. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Risk Insight

With expanding regulations at both the state and federal levels, organizations are now being required to report cyber breaches in most shorter time frames; typically, within 48 hours or less. Inability to timely notify regulatory bodies and impacted customers/investors, of a data breach may lead to significant compliance penalties. Check out our latest guidance and insights on this evolving risk.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. No other tools exposes organizations to as much opportunity risk as productivity tools such as Microsoft 365, Google Suite and others. PE firms heavily utilize spreadsheets (Excel / Google Sheets), presentations (Powerpoint / Slides), and documents (Word / Docs). Much of the analysis and presentation of information happens in these ubiquitous applications.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. As with all companies, PE firms use software to track their finances and accounting. Because their finances are very tied with those of their portfolio companies, firms will often use a package that combines portfolio management and reporting with its own finance/accounting.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. Most PE firms will have an online portal set up for their LPs / investors to access important information and get notifications.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. Most PE firms lean heavily on data from subscription databases. Sites like CapIQ and Pitchbook provide data on financial transactions, which helps the firms establish comps and get a sense for movement in the market.

Vendor Criticality: Highly Critical

On average, these systems are expose private equity firms to the most risk. Most PE firms also use a system to keep track of the opportunities for investment that they’re evaluating. Common solutions include a custom Excel sheet or a traditional CRM like Salesforce. But there’s a new class of tracking software popping up that intelligently customizes data and workflows just for PE.

Guidance Overview

Leaders can be proactive in combating threats of information loss and theft. All personnel should be continuously trained on how to spot relevant threats (Phishing attempts, etc.) and what actions they should take should they encounter them. Training must be coupled with a strong and consistent security culture, where security teams and business leaders engage in regular discussions on how individuals can do their part to reduce risk, and why security matters to the organization. In addition, individuals should be coached to be leery of unsolicited social media contacts (such as on LinkedIn), and messages. Email accounts and data storage systems, responsible for deal flow data and due diligence activities should be protected with Multi-Factor Authentication or Passwordless Authentication, whenever possible. This provides an additional safety mechanism for account access, in the event a user login in information (username and password) is compromised.

Guidance Overview

In alignment with best practice, banking account information should NEVER be shared through email without proper data encryption in place. In addition, for every financial transactional request should be verified through the appropriate channels. In the event that a request for movement of funds occurs via email, the recipient should pick up the telephone and validate the information. An extra second or two of your time verifying before trusting, can potentially save you hours and months of future headaches and loss.

Guidance Overview

Whether you are seeking to obtain initial cyber insurance coverage, or renewing your existing policy, proactively preparing for the underwriting process will save you thousands of dollars in resources. One immediate step Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Firms can take is to perform a Cyber Insurance Readiness Assessment with a trusted cyber readiness partner. In alignment with insurance underwriting requirements, cyber experts will identify your businesses gaps both in information security policy and practices and deliver a strategic roadmap to close these gaps. Performing a Cyber Insurance Readiness Assessment today will most effectively position you and your business for coverage at an affordable price.

Guidance Overview

If not already in place, organizations should draft and socialize a formalized Incident Response Plan. An effective plan identifies key steps, stakeholders, and processes involved in the detection, reporting (to include cyber incident breach reporting) containment, and recovery of both cybersecurity and natural disaster incidents. In alignment with best practice, IR plans should be tested and updated at least annually, to ensure response activities are effective in reducing business impact.

Solving Your Biggest Challenges

We understand the complex operational, third party, and technology risks inherent to technology firms and have built a suite of services to help you solve your toughest risk management challenges.

Third Party Risk

Vendors aren’t new. But the ways they interact with your data, systems, and people have changed, and that requires rethinking your strategy for managing the risks that vendors pose. Valor is on the leading edge of third-party risk strategies, having developed innovative solutions for Fortune 50 customers that have reduced risk, saved money, and increased efficiency. 

1Vendor Review

2Assessment and Tiering

3Prioritize and Inform

Incident Readiness

Readiness is your most valuable capability when it comes to cyber operations. Our team will test your plans, people, and insurance coverage to ensure complete and coordinated incident readiness across the entire business. 

1Plan Review

2Exercise & Recommendations

3Debrief & Lessons Learned

Enterprise Cyber Risk Assessment

Gather value information from your leaders to formulate a clear view of operational dependencies and critical risks. Use those risks to prioritize and formulate actionable strategies to minimize risk and increase organizational growth.

1Identify

2Analyze

3Address

vCISO Services

Rely on the collective expertise of a team with 20+ years of experience assessing and building cybersecurity programs for leading organizations in a variety of industry verticals. Benefit from frequent industry updates, actionable strategies, security expertise infused into your business operations. 

1Assess

2Roadmap Strategy

3Implementation

Featured Case Study

Effectively Assessing Cyber Risk To Help A World-Class VC Firm Make Informed Decisions

Valor led the assessment and evaluation of all cyber-related due diligence activities for a multi-million dollar equity transaction.  The U.S.-based firm has more than 5,000 users across 10 countries.

0
Week Timeline

Valor completed this implementation in just two months.

0
Applications

The scope for this global implementation.

Different From the Rest

At Valorr, we take a different approach to implementing and managing cyber risk.

Proven Expertise

Valor has worked with some of the leading technology providers in the world - from international SaaS companies to domestic IT service providers, we deliver the expertise you need.

Innovative Services

Valor's experts specialize in understanding emerging threats, new attack vectors, and innovative solutions to help you build smarter, better cyber defenses.

Compliance Experts

Valor is well versed in industry regulations like CMMC, DFARs, and ITAR as well as leading privacy and security standards, helping to streamline cyber compliance.