The banking industry is growing exponentially, and the revenue of banks increased by $345 billion in 2022 across the globe. With more and more financial inclusion every year, banks are adding a large amount of customer data to their Salesforce system. Having millions of customers’ sensitive data makes the financial institution a big target for cyberattacks. No matter if it is a physical bank or a digital bank, data exploitation can bring your bank into crisis. Without safety precautions, banks could face instability and huge monetary losses in just minutes. In this blog, you can find some examples of bank collapses, concerns about cyber threats, and how banks can protect their data.

Bank Collapses and Increased Cyber Attacks

1. Silicon Valley Collapse:

A recent talk of the town case is the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse, where bank leaders’ decisions led to the loss of billions. It all started when the bankers increased the interest rate on long-term investments. They even increased rates for near-term profits and created more risk for the bank’s earnings. They expected a good return from these changes, but the results were nothing but a failure. As the interest rate rose by around 5 percentage points, the clients of SVB withdrew money quickly.

On March 8, 2023, the bank has to sell securities at a loss of $1.8 billion in order to raise the needed money. The bank panicked even more when the depositors wanted to withdraw over $42 billion in one day. After that, federal regulators had to take control as the bank collapsed. Improper risk management led to a big bank’s failure and opened the door for hackers to launch cyberattacks.

Soon after the bank collapse, there was a rise in phishing activities, and the schemes claimed that SVB was paying back money to the USDC holders. Their target was to commit cryptocurrency fraud using a fake reward program. In this scam, people have to click on the claim button and scan a QR code using their crypto wallet, which the threat actors will exploit later.

2. Signature Bank Failure:

A few days after the SVB collapse, another financial institution named Signature Bank, with assets of around $100 billion, collapsed. The SVB failure created a panic among Signature Bank depositors as most of the deposits were uninsured. The entry into the crypto world and the shedding of $1.3 billion in the first few months displayed their weakness in the cryptocurrency industry. After the SVB collapse, the clients got worried and started withdrawing funds, and soon Signature Bank also failed. With the failure of two big banks, the threat actors had a golden chance to leverage the situation through cyberattacks.

3. Bangladesh Bank Heist:

The Lazarus group, which is known for several cybercrimes, conducted yet another cyber attack in 2016, and this time the victim was Bangladesh Bank. The country’s central bank was responsible for all currency reserves, which the attackers also knew and planned to steal millions of. As per the news, hackers entered the computer networks through fake job application emails sent to bank employees. Slowly, they made multi-million-dollar transfers to different bank accounts in various countries.

So, you can see how a bank could lose billions of dollars in the blink of an eye due to a lack of security and risk management. What would your bank do if an attack on Salesforce led to a huge financial loss? Learn about the threats banks could encounter and the ways they can remain secure.

Data Security Threats for Banks

Cybersecurity concerns are rising in every industry, but the banking sector needs to be more aware, as a single attack can disrupt the entire economy. Take a look at some major cyber threats that can hamper banks or other financial institutions.

  • Phishing: This attack is quite popular among cyber criminals. Here, they trick people using bogus emails and URLs. Inside these emails and domains, they instruct users to share their sensitive information or download malware. Most banking sector cyber attacks are caused by phishing, where the attackers access credentials and commit financial fraud.
  • Social Engineering: Social engineering can include phishing or whaling attacks. Hackers send fake invoices and pretend that they are from a trusted source. If they gain credentials or any valuable information from bank personnel, their scamming scheme becomes successful, and they later abuse it for their own benefit.
  • Ransomware: In a ransomware attack, the threat actors prevent users from accessing their accounts and make files encrypted. They demand any sort of ransom or money in return for accessing those files or systems.
  • Remote Work Dangers: Today, employees getting the opportunity to work from home is nothing new, and an increasing number of companies are preferring the remote work model. However, it comes with a hefty price, and in this case, it is a cyberattack.
  • Supply Chain Attacks: It is also known as a third-party attack, where the threat actors target software providers and developers. They infiltrate the bank’s Salesforce system via an external vendor and compromise the whole computer network.

How a data breach in Salesforce Could Cause another Bank Collapse

After the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, consumers are now hypersensitive to any blip in banks that could cause them to lose their life savings.

Imagine this scenario…A cyber criminal targets a bank’s public-facing Salesforce portal for an attack and is able to steal thousands of customers’ personal information. The attacker also opens a large number of fake loans in the customers’ names stealing millions of dollars.

Suddenly, it hits the front-page news that “Your Trusted Bank Suffers Breach Costing Consumers Millions of Dollars”.

Fearing another bank collapse, consumers make a run on the bank, withdrawing billions of dollars. This run on the bank causes the bank to sell off assets and eventually leads to its collapse.

Top Ways to Protect Bank Data with Salesforce and Other Security Features

Data breach cases are soaring in all sectors, and the banking industry is no exception. To prevent numerous security threats, it is better to practice certain safety measures and protect data. Here are some of the security measures to consider.

  • Control Information Access:

Users access their accounts and Salesforce data through permission sets and user profiles. The user profiles determine how much data users can access and whether their role needs it or not. While creating user profiles, they ensure that users get only those types of access that they require for performing operations. You also need to provide the right permission set based on user profiles so that no one can access information that is not meant for them.

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication:

If you are opting for two-factor authentication via text messaging or email, you are making a mistake. You may think your Salesforce user account is safe, but attackers can use phishing and SIM-swapping attacks to gain access to your system. In SIM swapping scams, the fraudsters even take control of your phone number and gain access to all accounts based on email or text message-based two-factor authentication.

To prevent such issues, you should go for two-factor authentication using a U2F security key, TOTP authenticator apps, and the Salesforce authenticator mobile application. Through Salesforce authenticator apps, you get notifications during login attempts, and you can also deny activity that you don’t recognize to block anyone misusing it. You receive a notification with a time-based passcode in TOTP authenticator apps, using which you can login. To log in without one-time passwords, a U2F security key is a good option, as you just need to insert the key into your computer port.

  • Use Salesforce Shield for Continuous Monitoring:

Salesforce Shield is a powerful tool to enhance the security of your Salesforce data. It includes features like Shield platform encryption, field audit trial, and event monitoring. Using the encryption feature, you can encrypt both standard and custom field data. The field audit trial tracks and audits a large number of standard and custom objects. The Salesforce system may contain a plethora of event types, but the event monitoring feature tracks each one of them.

  • Perform Regular Health Checks:

With Salesforce Health Check, find out which security option is at greater risk and needs immediate resolution. It shows whether your company’s system security settings are working as per Salesforce recommendations or not. The Health Check displays scores in percentage, where any setting lower than 54% is considered poor and above 90% is called excellent.

  • Virus Scanning is a Must:

Viruses or malicious content can be anywhere in your system, which the threat actors may have added using various cyber attack techniques. The more vulnerable your system remains, the higher your data is at risk. The best solution to this issue is to invest in a virus scanner like EzProtect. No matter where the vulnerabilities are present in the Salesforce platform, it can easily identify them and help in fixing them.

  • Detect Potential Issues with Auditing:

Conducting regular audits is an amazing security practice to check login histories and find gaps in the system that could lead to an attack. It offers you complete knowledge about system usage and monitor whether the system is in compliance with industry regulations or not. It helps you identify risks and security issues that can turn into dangers in the future.

  • Don’t Share User Accounts:

Be it a user account or an integration user account, sharing passwords is never a good move when it comes to security. If several users try to log in by sharing credentials and passwords, the data on Salesforce could get exposed to all of them, putting the data at risk. Even having a dedicated integration user for external systems connected to Salesforce would not offer the data enough security if the credentials were exposed to many. Salesforce’s policy also prohibits users from sharing account logins.

  • Perform Penetration Tests on Salesforce Digital Experiences:

Salesforce Lightning is prone to vulnerabilities like SOQL injection, missing object or field-level security, and insecure sharing. All these can wreak havoc on banking systems if not corrected in time. Here, both vulnerability scanning and penetration testing are equally important for identifying issues that could lead to a potential cyber attack. Penetration testing is the legal way to hack the computer network, trace vulnerabilities earlier, and remain prepared if data exploitation ever happens. Therefore, use a penetration tool and strengthen your Salesforce security system.


There is no denying that the banks are prime targets for attackers, and they are just looking for a chance to make financial gains through exploitation. Several banks have fallen into the trap of scams and faced both reputational and financial losses. However, enhancing the Salesforce security system and making it powerful is the key to preventing such incidents. By considering the correct measures, you can have peace of mind that there is no issue or vulnerability present in your system and the data is completely safe.

Want to reduce the risks of a cyberattack on your Salesforce system? Schedule a free security assessment now to know if you have any potential vulnerabilities or threats in your system.

By Published On: March 20, 2024Categories: Cybersecurity, Salesforce, Virus scanning0 Comments


Did you love this blog and wish there could be more?

It is our goal to keep you informed about everything you need to know about Salesforce security to keep your Salesforce data and company safe and secure by providing you with the highest quality of original content.

If this sounds good to you, then sign-up below to be one of the first to know when the next super awesome Salesforce security blog has been released.

Download your free guide today!

Learn if you are at risk and how to start protecting your users!