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Cybercrime now major drag on financial services, PwC finds

But sector still prefers secrecy and make-do

Too few organisations in the financial services sector are investing in the response mechanisms needed to cope with cybercrime incidents, a PwC survey has found.

This is despite cybercrime now being a major cause of losses in the financial sector, ahead of accounting fraud, bribery and corruption and even money laundering, it said.

The prominence of cybercrime in the figures, drawn from 878 responses from professionals in the sector in 56 countries, is no surprise given that almost all cybercrime impacts on financial services at some point.

Cybercrime is now the second biggest cause of economic crime experienced by the sector, beating all other forms bar catch-all 'asset misappropriation' (mostly simple physical theft) even though PwC admits that definitions of what constitutes it vary from organisation to organisation.

Many financial organisations still prefer to draw a veil over the issue of cybercrime losses because of the technological 'lack' it suggests in their operations.

"Our survey shows cybercrime accounts for a much greater proportion of economic crime in the FS sector than in other industries," said PwC forensic services partner, Andrew Clark.

"Cybercrime puts the FS sector's customers, brand and reputation at significant risk. Regulators are increasingly viewing cybercrime as a key area of focus and financial institutions are expected to have appropriate systems and controls in place to fight this growing threat."

Only 18 percent of firms had all five of the incident response mechanisms deemed important by PwC, including detection and investigation systems, forensics, shutdown procedures and PR and media help to cope with the reputational fallout.

Tellingly, almost a third of staff in financial services had not received any cybersecurity training.

The latest figures are sector-specific results taken from a larger report PwC published last November that showed cybercrime becoming a measurable financial problem across all industries.

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