The number of cyber incidents reported by UK financial services firms to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) increased by over 1,000% during 2018. Nearly 20% of them were targeted at the wholesale and investment management sector.
Out of the total 93 cyber incidents reported to the UK’s financial regulatory body, half were phishing attacks, while 20% were ransomware attacks.
According to the FCA, 21% of the reports were triggered by third-party failure, 19% from hardware or software issues, and 18% were caused by change in management.
“Firms are operating in an environment where cyber threats and breaches are rising in both number and sophistication, resulting in an increasing focus from regulators globally,” the FCA said and called on companies to take specific measures to protect against the reputational and financial risk of cyber-attacks. These include implementing a regulatory cybersecurity programme, monitoring regulator guidelines, and educating staff on cybersecurity.
The organisation said it is no longer the sole responsibility of IT departments to tackle cyber threats but extends to risk and compliance teams and should even be included on board agenda.
“Firms must proactively improve their attack readiness to reduce cyber risk and minimise potential impacts,” it said.
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