How the Blackbird.AI Platform Addresses Narrative Attacks in the Financial Services Industry

Financial institutions must develop strategies to counter the growing threat of narrative attacks caused by misinformation and disinformation, targeting their reputation and trust.

Dr. Edward Amoroso, former Board Member M&T Bank and CEO of TAG Infosphere on June 11, 2024

It should come as no surprise that hackers and criminals target financial service organizations simply because that’s where the money is. To that end, banks and other organizations in this sector have had to develop large cybersecurity teams to protect their resources. More recently, a new threat that targets their reputation via so-called narrative attacks has emerged as a new concern for these companies.

When narrative attacks are aimed at banks and other financial services groups, they involve misinformation, otherwise known as factually incorrect data or disinformation, which would involve an adversary degrading an organization’s reputation in this sector. As one would expect, this could have serious reputational consequences, especially since banks operate almost exclusively on trust.

Learn More: Narrative Attacks: The New Cybersecurity Threat

Financial Services Reputational Issues

Understanding sample narrative attacks on financial services organizations requires reviewing the key reputational issues that influence this industry. We see these as including the following: First, banks and other financial institutions are concerned with their public reputation since it is trust that they provide when businesses and individuals use their services to save their money, invest in their future, and so on.

Second, financial services companies are concerned with reputation as typically large employers since they tend to be more substantive organizations with often massive staff bases, consultants, and other stakeholders. As such, the reputation of banks and other financial institutions as dependable employers and community members is also a key issue that executives in this important industry will go to great lengths to protect from attack.

And finally, we see regulatory and government-related interactions as a key reputational issue for the financial services industry. Historically, we’ve seen reports of banks being accused of sloppy handling of customer records, leading to significant breaches. Thus, even when this is not true for a given bank, it is easy to develop a fake narrative that will be believed by anyone exposed, usually on social media or the Internet.

Typical Narrative Attacks On Financial Services

The various reputational issues listed above provide a good means for describing the types of narrative attacks that might be expected in this financial sector. The first issue of the trustworthiness of banks with their customers might be attacked by false or misleading stories of unfair practices, customer bullying, or otherwise untrustworthy behavior by some targeted company. This could involve false social media posts, videos, or other means.

The second issue is that a bank’s reputation as an employer could be targeted by misinformation about pending layoffs at local branches or by creating false or misleading narratives about the effects of individuals who might have been unfairly treated by their employer. These could also be narrative attacks on social media, and whether true or not, they would likely spread quickly, especially if the fake narrative shows particular harm to a person or family.

Finally, the issue of financial services companies being targeted with false narratives of sloppy data handling is easy to imagine. It would be easy to concoct such attacks using misleading information that could make customers nervous about the organization’s ability to protect their data. Anyone suspicious of the entire banking and financial services industry would consume these types of attacks.

Learn More: Business Case: Why Cybersecurity Leaders and CISOs Need Narrative Risk Intelligence

This claim was checked by Compass by Blackbird.AI.

Addressing Narrative Attacks To Financial Services With Blackbird.Ai

As one might expect, very little can be done to stop bad actors from posting false or misleading information on social media. However, through an active monitoring program using platforms such as Blackbird.AI, banks and other financial services organizations can identify when a narrative attack has occurred and take steps to eliminate narrative blind spots immediately, elevate narrative discovery, automate risk identification, and make corrections.

Thus, banks and other financial services companies should consider engaging with security solution providers like Blackbird.AI to implement a narrative attack risk reduction program. Without such protection, the types of attacks described above could easily occur. Buyers are advised to contact Blackbird.AI to learn how their platform can reduce this risk through misinformation and disinformation controls.

About Blackbird.AI

BLACKBIRD.AI protects organizations from narrative attacks created by misinformation and disinformation that cause financial and reputational harm. Powered by our AI-driven proprietary technology, including the Constellation narrative intelligence platform, RAV3N Risk LMM, Narrative Feed, and our RAV3N Narrative Intelligence and Research Team, Blackbird.AI provides a disruptive shift in how organizations can protect themselves from what the World Economic Forum called the #1 global risk in 2024.

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