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Cyber crime top concern for financial services industry


Cyber incidents are a top concern for the financial services industry, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018.


After 2 000 risk experts in 80 countries were surveyed, it was found that the second biggest concern in the financial services industry is changes in legislation and regulations, up from being the third biggest concern in 2017.

The third biggest concern this year is business interruption, followed by concerns about new technologies in fourth place. Concerns of business interruption and new technologies are fairly new risks in the sector, according to the report.

The survey found that business disruptions due to cyber incidents is a major concern in the South African financial services sector.

As online banking increased in the country, so did cyber attacks on the networks of financial service providers. These attacks can take the form of unauthorised access or introducing malicious software on a company’s system. It could lead to a significant loss of data for a financial services company and the unavailability or control of its IT systems.

The risk barometer further shows that, while there are not many new entrants in the SA financial services sector due to stern licensing regulations, innovation and market stagnation are a cause for concern in the sector.

“Cyber incidents aren’t just caused by hackers. Technical failure or malicious or innocent employee action is often to blame. Whatever the cause, reputational damage is irrevocably linked,” said Nobuhle Nkosi, head of financial lines at AGCS Africa.