Cyber-incidents in the financial sector rise by over 1000%

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“Cyber-incidents” against organisations in the financial sector have increased by over 1000%, according to newly-released figures from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The number of reported attacks rose from 69 in 2017 to 819 in 2018, whilst a total of 370 have already been recorded in 2019.

The steep rise has been attributed in part to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018 and has stringent requirements around data breach reporting. However, there’s an acknowledgement that GDPR could also be driving hackers to attack businesses – and particularly those in the financial sector – with more ferocity.

RSM, the tax and consulting organisation which made the Freedom of Information (FoI) request about these figures, has issued a warning to businesses in the financial sector to be vigilant against cyberattacks. The firm’s cybersecurity specialist, Steven Snaith, said to the BBC, “The web-enabled systems underpinning the financial services sector hold huge volumes of personal and financial data, which are incredibly valuable for cyber-criminals.”

However, it’s not just cyber-attacks that are heavily impacting the finance sector; incidents with hardware and software, third-party failures, process/control failures and human error also accounted for a significant portion of the reported cyber-incidents.

Financial institutions like banks have been the targets of crime throughout their history for obvious reasons. From bank robberies to cyber-attacks, successful targeted attacks can result in a payday for criminals, both cyber and regular. However, with increasing reliance on technology and a shift towards cashless payments, they rely on their infrastructureand software solutions more than ever.

Often falling into the professional services industry, financial organisations can experience significant losses because of downtime – whether that’s caused by a hack or a failed server – as it directly translates to lost income.

To remain safe from both cyberattacks and failing technology, financial and professional services institutions must minimise downtime through a reliable, futureproof infrastructure that is additionally protected from malware. Due to a myriad of problems including tightened budgets, a lack of resources and a widening digital skills gap, many firms aren’t prioritising IT, but this could prove to be a fatal mistake.

Technology is essential. It enables your business simply to function – you know how tied your hands would be simply without internet access – but it’s also the catalyst for achieving your business goals. But with limited resources, how can you truly achieve this?

According to Deloitte, more financial services organisations than ever before are turning to managed IT services to achieve their goals of maximum uptime, futureproofed infrastructure, increased productivity and ultimately improved profitability. A leading managed service provider like TSG will function as your partner, taking the burden of IT supportaway and roadmapping your business’ future success. With over 1000 industry-standard security qualifications between them, our cybersecurity experts know how to keep your business safe from both the hackers and system failures.

With the capital your organisation holds and the eye-watering fines for GDPR non-compliance, it’s clear your financial institution needs to prioritise cybersecurity and the infrastructure your business relies on.