Data breaches reported by UK financial services increases by 480%

The amount of data breaches reported by UK financial services to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) increased by 480 per cent last year, a study from RPC claims.

Figures increased to 145 in 2018 up from 25 in 2017, of which, the retail banking space seeing the largest percentage growth in breaches. In 2017, there was only one data breach to be reported; however, there were 25 in 2018.

The UK-headquartered law firm RPC stated this rise could be due to an increased interest from cyber criminals in attacking bank accounts. Last year, Tesco Bank was fines £16.4m for a cyberattack which resulted in £2.26m being stolen from personal current accounts.

The highest number of data breaches were reported by wholesale financial markets firms, such as investment banks, reporting 34 times, up from three. RPC believes this could be down to a theory security systems of investment banks are not as strong as retail banks. Confidential data stolen from investments banks could also be used to conduct insider trading.

Other areas seeing a sharp rise in data breaches include, insurers, consumer retail lending and retail investments, which reported 33, 21 and 11 breaches last year, respectively.

Although it appears financial services are being hit more frequently, the RPC claims it could be down to these organisations getting better at identifying attacks and reporting them.

RPC partner Richard Breavington said, “Banks remain a top target for cyber criminals. The figures suggest that the banks are suffering data breaches on a frequent basis.

“The increase in reports, however, does show that the financial services industry is now taking cyber security more seriously than ever. The financial and reputational fallout from a data breach can be serious for a business of any size. They must be ready to defend against – and respond to – breaches as efficiently as possible.”

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