Financial services sector showing least cyber security concerns

Financial services firms are less likely than other sectors to have confidence in the effectiveness of their cyber security detection mechanisms, according to new research released by Kroll.

Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, has released its latest Global Fraud and Risk Report, which reveals 27% of financial services firms felt that their cyber risk mechanisms were ineffective – 8% more than the global average.

Kroll’s annual report comprises research conducted by Forrester Consulting and examines the current global risk landscape – understanding the biggest risks facing global companies and the steps being taken to prevent, detect and respond to daily threats.

The sector experienced a 31% level of data theft – higher than the 29% average globally – indicating that financial services firms are a target for criminals looking to steal sensitive, valuable information.

Managing director in Kroll’s business intelligence and investigations practice, Howard Cooper, commented: “Financial services firms have long been subject to regulatory scrutiny, which has been a significant driver behind many of the existing risk management strategies in the sector.

“The risk landscape has evolved to include a new set of threats, including adversarial social media activity from customers, competitors and bad actors, which can cause serious reputational damage.”

The report revealed that financial services firms are more likely than any other to be targeted by adversarial social media activity, with over a third of business leaders in the sector noting they had experienced this in the past 12 months, against a 27% global average.

Despite this higher level of targeting, firms in the financial services sector were found to be the least likely to prioritise combating negative social media activity, with just over half of firms noting this as a significant or high priority, compared to 63% across all sectors surveyed.

Kroll also suggested that financial services firms expressed the least concern of all sectors regarding the impact of cryptocurrencies. Only 38% of business leaders felt disturbed by the destabilisation of flat currency due to cryptocurrency, compared to a global average of 53%.

Cooper added: “Our survey shows that financial services firms are the most targeted by this threat, yet the least likely to be taking steps to tackle it.

“Firms can address these risks head on by implementing effective monitoring and detection tools and having robust plans in place to respond to potential issues swiftly and appropriately.”

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