Cyber Crime Boosts Threat to Financial Services, PwC Says

Cyber crime is a “growing threat” globally and the second most commonly reported economic crime affecting financial-services firms, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

It accounted for 38 percent of criminal incidents for financial companies compared with 16 percent in other business sectors, the accounting firm said in a report published today. About half of the financial-services respondents said the potential risk of cyber attacks has risen over the past 12 months compared with 36 percent in other sectors.

“Cyber crime puts the financial sector’s customers, brand and reputation at significant risk,” Andrew Clark, forensic services partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers said in the statement. “Regulators are increasingly viewing cyber crime as a key area of focus and financial institutions are expected to have appropriate systems and controls in place.”

Cyber crime involves the use of computers or the internet and includes the theft of personal information, industrial espionage, reputational damage, financial theft and the disruption of services. About 29 percent of financial-firm respondents didn’t receive cyber security training, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

Asset misappropriation such as embezzlement and deception by employees remains the most popular way of committing fraud in an organization, the survey found.

The survey analyzed 3,877 responses in 78 countries with 23 percent from the financial-services sector.

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