Financial Sector Hit By £1.34bn Security Testing Bill

The shockingly high cost of protecting against cyberattacks has been revealed, with the financial sector forking out more than £1.34bn annually to combat the growing threat of data breaches and system outages.

Research from AVORD – a revolutionary new security testing platform that launches today – reveals 95% of businesses in the financial sector have seen an increase in the number of data breaches over the last five years. And as a result of the growing threat to mobile devices, more than half (52%) are now investing more in identifying and protecting against app-based threats.

Opportunistic multi-national consultancies are being blamed for inflating the price of security testing in the UK, with many financial services businesses being charged inflated prices to conduct tests on their critical assets.

Consultancies taking advantage

Today’s findings put the spotlight firmly on the security testing market, which is dominated by consultancies who provide services to businesses, sometimes at twice the daily rate of an independent tester – often referred to as ethical hackers. With 76% of businesses claiming the cost of testing is too expensive, there is a clear demand for change.

More than three quarters (79%) of businesses in the financial sector currently outsource the security testing on their critical assets. The need to use consultancies is being driven by a skills shortage, with many (41%) revealing that they don’t fully possess the in-house, employee skills and knowledge to carry out security testing.

More than three quarters (79%) of businesses in the financial sector currently outsource the security testing on their critical assets.

A surge in cybercrime

Worryingly, the financial sector was subject to the most security breaches – of all surveyed industries – last year, with two in five (41%) suffering from an attack that directly hit their bottom lines, lost them customers and damaged their brand reputations. Of those hit by a cyberattack, 77% reported that the breach occurred partly as a result of issues with the security testing process.

Over the past five years, the majority of companies have seen a major increase in the number of data breaches: 29% reported an increase of between 11% and 20%, while more than two in five (44%) reported up to 10% more data breaches.

The true cost of cyberattacks

As new emerging technologies are deployed, and applications increasingly underpin core business processes, firms across the UK claimed that cybercriminals are creating new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, which is putting increased stresses on them at an already challenging time.

The impact of breaches in the past 12 months has been wide spread. 84% of those affected reported losing customers, while almost a half (48%) had to pay legal fees and 58% experienced reputational damage. In addition, nearly seven in 10 (68%) were hit by fines from regulators.

(Source: AVORD)

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