By Simon Miller
Cybercrime is the second most commonly reported economic crime within the financial services.
Although asset misappropriation remains the most popular fraud, research from PwC found that cybercrime accounted for 38% of economic crime incidents compared with 16% for other industries.
In addition, half of financial services respondents perceive the risk of cybercrime to have increased in the last 12 months, compared with 36% for other industries.
Some 45% of financial services suffered frauds in the last 12 months, a much higher figure than the 30% reported by other industries. This is an indicator that the sector remains very attractive to criminals due to the significant amount of cash, assets and sensitive client data that is available to them as well as the nature of the industry.
Andrew Clark, forensic services partner, PwC, said: “The rise in cybercrime is not so surprising given the sector holds large volumes of the type of data cybercriminals are interested in and there is an established underground economy servicing the needs of the market for stolen and compromised data. However, our survey shows cybercrime accounts for a much greater proportion of economic crime in the financial services sector than in other industries.”
Asked what aspects of cybercrime they were most concerned about, financial services respondents had greater concern around all of the categories of collateral damage listed when compared to other industries. More than half said their greatest concern was around reputational damage
Clark commented: “We expected most organisations to have cybercrime incident response mechanisms in place. To our surprise, only 18% of FS respondents said they had in place all five measures specified in our survey. It appears that some FS organisations are complacent about the risks that cybercrime poses, in spite of serious concerns about potential damage arising from cyber threats.”
In addition to the growth in cybercrime, asset misappropriation and accounting fraud were the other two types of economic crime that increased over the last year, according to survey respondents. The rise in accounting fraud from 19% in 2009 to 26% in 2011 differs from other industries where it fell significantly from 38% in 2009 to 22% in 2011.