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Cyber crime against financial firms increasing


The threat cyber crime poses to financial services firms across the globe is becoming more pronounced, according to the latest report on the matter by PwC. 

Some 45 per cent of respondents to the organisation's survey had been the victims of some form of economic crime in the past, with 39 per cent having fallen prey to the dangers posed by hackers and other web-based threats.

Advances in computing and the growing use of big data analysis means technology is increasingly becoming the main tool utilised in economic theft, the firm suggested.

Around half of the businesses that had experienced some form of crime in the response period recorded a jump in the number of incidents recorded as well as the financial cost of such occurrences.

The survey took in responses from 1,330 financial services firms across 79 countries, suggesting that this is a global issue rather than one simply confined to trading and business hubs such as London, New York and Tokyo.

Money laundering, accounting fraud and corruption remain issues, but cyber crime was the biggest threat driver among all the companies who took part in the report.

Andrew Clark, partner in PwC’s forensics practice, said: "The financial services sector was one of the first to be targeted by cyber crime - little wonder, as there have always been significant potential financial gains to be had from subverting computerised processes and corporate controls in banks."

The methods adopted by criminals are constantly evolving, meaning banks and other institutions need to take steps to upgrade their protective systems on a regular basis, he added.

"It is concerning that 40 per cent of all financial services respondents believe that it is unlikely their organisations will experience cyber crime in the next 24 months. Financial services organisations need to recognise cyber crime as a risk type and establish proper reporting," he concluded.

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