IA teams up with US firm to tackle cyber crime

Digital Blue SmallThe UK’s Investment Association has set up a platform to help investment managers protect their firms against cyber security threats.

Covid-19 has highlighted the “critical role” cyber security plays in ensuring operational resilience, according to the organisation.

The platform – called IA Titan, and powered by US-based cyber security company Anomali – comprises a real-time dashboard providing up-to-date alerts from law enforcement, government agencies and other authorities.

The alerts will cover a range of threats including: malware, ransomware, and software vulnerabilities.   

Cyber crime continues to be a major risk for the asset management industry. A recent study found that a cybersecurity breach is the main reason for institutional investors to review mandates. 

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said: “Cyber security and operational resilience is a board-level focus for the investment management industry, which is why we need to tackle head-on the threat cyber espionage and financial crime can pose to members’ operations.”

A report published last year found that the number of cyber incidents reported by UK financial services firms to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had 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. 

Hugh Njemanze, chief executive of Anomali, said: “The problem of how to address cyberthreats is compounded by the overwhelming volumes of data about them, confusion over which security solutions are effective, and shortages of cybersecurity professionals.”

In the first half of last year alone, cryptocurrency thefts and scams surged, with criminals and fraudsters netting billions from users and exchanges as cybercrime techniques continue to evolve with the times.

Cybercriminals stole around $4.26 billion (€3.84 billion) from cryptocurrency users, investors and exchanges over the first half of last year, up from $1.7 billion for the whole of 2018, data from CipherTrace – a cyber security firm also based in the US – revealed. 

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