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Cyber attacks cost financial firms $12bn says IMF

Cyber attacks cost financial firms $12bn says IMF

Financial services firms have been hit with $12bn in losses over the last two decades as a result of cyber attacks, according to a recently published report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The data shows little sign that the risk is about to reduce and has led to the IMF to call for greater cross-border cooperation to protect the stability of the global financial system.

The number of incidents has more than doubled since the pandemic while the scale of extreme losses has more than quadrupled since 2017 to $2.5bn.

The report also states that indirect losses such as reputational damage and security updates are “substantially higher”.

Such is the scale of the losses suffered by banks, asset managers and insurers, the IMF believes that cyber attacks represent a growing threat to financial stability.

"Attacks on financial companies account for almost a fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed," wrote Fabio Natalucci, Mahvash Qureshi and Felix Suntheim, authors of the study.

"Although cyber incidents have so far not been systemic, events at major financial institutions can pose a serious threat to macro-financial stability through loss of confidence, disruption of critical services and due to technological and financial interconnectedness," the authors of the IMF study point out.

The IMF also states that banks in advanced economies face greater exposure than those in developing countries.

For example, JP Morgan, ranked as the world’ s largest bank by assets, reported that it suffered as many as 45 billion cyber threats per day and is spending $15bn a year on technology to thwart the threat of cyber attacks.

Consequently, the IMF is calling for more cross-border cooperation to manage the risks posed by cyber attacks.

"Given the global nature and systemic implications of cyber attacks, cross-border coordination is crucial to mitigate cyber risks," states the report.


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