The threat posed by cyber criminals has been identified as the number one risk facing financial markets, a new study has found.
A report by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) revealed almost half of respondents (46 per cent) named cyber security as their top overall concern. Meanwhile, four out of five respondents placed this issue in their top five.
The percentage of respondents placing cyber issues at the top of their list has doubled from last year, when just 24 per cent of companies rated it as the number one issue. Key reasons for the rise in focus include the increasing frequently and sophistication of attacks.
As a result, many financial services companies have increased their investment in technology to detect and prevent cyber threats. One goal of this is to ensure that information on threats is readily available to all organisations to help alert them to the latest emerging risks.
At the same time, firms have increased hiring for cyber security roles and have provided greater training and educational opportunities across their organisations.
Mark Clancy, managing director for technology risk management and corporate information security officer at DTCC and chief executive of Soltra, said that with attacks becoming more sophisticated, the threats faced by financial firms are growing every day.
"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," he said.
DTCC observed that calls to improve this sharing of data have come from across the industry, from market participants, regulators and infrastructure providers.
Action is being taken to improve this, with the US House of Representatives and the Senate taking "proactive steps to confront the cyber security challenge". The bodies are said to be working towards passing legislation to improve information sharing, in order to protect critical infrastructure.
Quickly identifying and reacting to threats will be paramount if financial services companies are to protect themselves from emerging risks. Innovations from Encode, supported by IBM QRadar, can provide firms with the tools they need to achieve this and protect their most valuable assets.