A study by Accenture and Ponemon Institute – Cost of Cyber Crime Study: Insights on the security investments that make a difference – found cyberattacks cost financial service firms more to address and contain than in any other industry. The rate of breaches in the industry has tripled in the past five years. On average, the cost of cybercrime for financial services companies globally has increased by more than 40% over the past three years, from $12.97 million per firm in 2014 to $18.28 million in 2017.

So in an age of increasing costs and more sophisticated criminals, what should financial services companies be doing to reduce the impact of cybercrime? Accenture and Ponemon Institute recommend:

  • Building cybersecurity on a strong foundation: invest in “brilliant basics” such as security intelligence and advanced access management.
  • Undertaking extreme pressure testing: compliance alone is not enough to enhance a company’s security profile, testing should be completed to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Investing in breakthrough innovation: balance spend on new technologies, specifically analytics and artificial intelligence.

Financial services companies need to recognise they are an attractive target. It is important to continuously re-evaluate your cybersecurity strategy and assess whether you are getting the best value from your security technologies and your risk and compliance frameworks are up to scratch.