You know how it is with reports on cybercrime. You wait ages for one to appear and then two come along at once. This month has seen research looking at cybercrime from rather different angles but the conclusion is the same in both cases: it’s definitely a Big Issue.
On the one hand, Aon Risk Management, which provides services including insurance, reinsurance and – yes, you’ve guessed it – risk management, questioned more than 1,000 leaders from UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a survey exploring the sector’s exposure to a range of risks.
It found that only 4% had any insurance cover to protect them from the consequences of a cyberattack. Even in the information technology and telecoms sector, the figure was just 5%, creeping up to 8% in finance and accounting.
Yet UK government research published at the start of the year revealed that in 2014, a whopping 33 per cent of small businesses suffered a cyberattack from someone outside their business.
That’s worrying enough. Meanwhile, PwC and the UK-based Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, an independent forum for debate and research on the future of the international financial services sector, have just released the Banking Banana Skins 2015 report.
Hundreds of bankers, banking regulators and observers in 52 countries flagged up their main concerns for the financial sector over the next two to three years, with the macroeconomic environment – involving concerns including the strength of the recovery and debt burdens – topping the list.
But shooting up from ninth place in 2014 to second was criminality, with the report attributing the surge to the ‘alarming spread’ of cybercrime. In the UK and North America, it was the biggest concern and no region ranked it lower than third.
Criminality like money laundering could be managed and prevented by robust compliance measures, respondents said, but in the words of one contributor cyberattacks ‘are a different animal’.
While the financial cost of cyberattacks can be huge, the report also highlighted associated risks – ‘regulatory reprimand, fines and reputational damage from impaired security and theft of customer data’.
Cybercrime clearly isn’t going away any time soon. So staying on top of the issue helps organisations stay a step ahead of the cybercriminals rather than picking up the costly pieces post-attack.
The ICA offers a wide range of qualifications addressing cybercrime as part of broader financial crime prevention, including the ICA Certificate in Financial Crime Prevention, the ICA Diploma in Financial Crime Prevention and the ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Crime Compliance. We can also scope, design and deliver in-house programmes. To keep in touch with our latest developments, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.