Today’s challenges in the financial industry

Traditional ways of banking are vanishing as consumers demand more sophisticated services such as mobile payments, mobile banking and digital currencies. As these technologies continue to advance, banks, securities houses and insurance companies must rely on software applications running on a myriad of consumer devices. With them comes serious risks.


Relying on technology exposes banks to generic and targeted attacks. This poses huge challenges to vulnerability management due of the speed at which hackers are finding sophisticated ways to exploit code and the sheer size of the damage that can be done in terms of data loss and financial costs.


According to the IMF, over two-thirds of global financial institutions have seen an increase in cyberattacks. The prevalent method for deploying cyber security is to focus on network and perimeter defenses. However, it is clear that most malicious exploits occur because of errors in software applications.

What’s at risk?

Personal Data


Critical Services

The three most important cybersecurity threats in the world in financial services are the theft of personal data, the theft of money and the disruption of critical services. Besides money, the most critical asset a bank holds is personal data. Financial institutes are a natural target for cyber-criminals. The more digitized services a bank offers, the more it is open to fraud and attack.

Financial services firms are 300 times as likely as other companies to be targeted by a cyberattack. Dealing with those attacks and their aftermath carries a higher cost for banks and wealth managers than for any other sector.

Boston Consulting Report 2019

An annual security report by Akamai found that, “94% of observed attacks against the financial services sector came from one of four methods: SQL Injection (SQLi), Local File Inclusion (LFI), Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and OGNL Java Injection.” These are all related to the source code in web applications.

Developers may be familiar with these security concerns, but cybersecurity teams may not. Using Xcalibyte’s tools and services, security professionals can apply standards to their software to ensure these vulnerabilities are identified and remedied during the software development process.

Commonly used attack methods

SQL Injection

Allows for the retrieval of hidden data where the SQL commands can be altered to return additional results

Local File Inclusion

Allows the attacker to run arbitrary code in the web application or read sensitive information by exploiting functions such as weak user input validation

Cross-Site Scripting

Attacker places executable code onto a user’s web browser for malicious purposes such as accessing cookies for impersonation purposes

OGNL Java Injection

Attackers can modify systems variables or inject expressions to run arbitrary code

Xcalibyte’s Solutions

Identify Defects

Xcalscan is designed to identify defects in code that facilitate these commonly used attack methods. Xcalscan provides feedback on where these errors exist and guidance on how to remediate them.

Discover Vulnerabilities

Xcalscan analyses code to discover these vulnerabilities by looking for:

  • Validation & sanitization checks which are crucial for these types of attacks
  • Properly secured data with encryption at rest or in transit

Consulting Services

Xcalibyte provides consulting services to help software development teams build secure coding methods into their day-to-day workflow and help organisations establish software quality and compliance standards.

By using Xcalibyte’s built-in rules along with CERT rules, financial services organizations can remain vigilant and ensure secure coding practices are constantly kept top-of-mind. With 82% of vulnerabilities appearing in application code, cybersecurity standards are in the hands of developers as much as security professionals.

Xcalscan is currently being used by many leading financial institutions to deliver high quality, compliant and vulnerability-free applications.


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