Financial Services Markets Survey Cites Cyber Security as Top Risk

Cyber security has become the top concern of the global financial services industry as the incidence of breaches continues to rise, a survey conducted by The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) finds.

DTCC’s latest
Systemic Risk Barometer
was completed in the first quarter of 2015, based on responses from over 250 market participants including DTCC clients and other key stakeholders.

It reports that 46% of respondents cited cyber security as their top concern, up from 24% a year ago, while 80% of respondents rated it as a top five risk overall.

Specific respondent feedback cited the growth in the “frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks”. As a result, many market participants have increased their investment in technology to detect and prevent cyber threats, with the goal of ensuring “uninterrupted access to (threat) data.” At the same time, firms have increased hiring for cyber security roles and have provided greater training and educational opportunities across their organisations.

“Cyber security threats continue to grow each and every day, as attackers become more sophisticated,” said Mark Clancy, managing director, chief information security officer (CISO) technology risk management, DTCC and chief executive officer (CEO) for Soltra.

“With cyber security identified as the industry’s top risk, it is critical that we develop and implement solutions that enable the timely sharing of data to prevent incidents as well as to promote faster incident detection and response.”

The call for cyber threat data sharing has been echoed by market participants, regulators and infrastructure providers alike, as firms seek to share information to prevent and respond to attacks more quickly. Most recently, the US House and Senate took proactive steps to confront the cyber security challenge and are working towards enactment of legislation to improve information sharing to protect critical infrastructure.

In addition to cyber security, respondents cited geo-political risk, local market policies, the impact of new regulations, and a global economic slowdown as additional areas of systemic risk. Seventy-three per cent of survey respondents indicated they have increased the amount of resources dedicated to identify, monitor and mitigate systemic risk, a continued trend.

“The industry remains committed to continuing to identify and respond to all types of risk that could create firm-level or systemic incidents,” said Mike Leibrock, managing director and chief systemic risk officer, DTCC.

“Market participants are not only concerned with the reputational damage that could be caused to their organizations, but also the reputational impact to the industry as a whole.”

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