Cyber incidents in UK finance spike 1,000%

The number of cyber incidents being reported by UK finance firms has risen dramatically, according to new figures.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority by tax and consulting firm RSM showed the number of declared events had gone up from 69 in 2017 to 819 in 2018 - an increase of more than 1,000 per cent.

Consumer banks accounted for around 60 per cent of the reports submitted, which analysts said was likely driven by the adoption of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that obligated them to report certain security breaches.

Wholesale financial markets and retail investment companies were also particularly badly hit. Third-party failure caused 21 per cent of the reported incidents, while hardware and software problems were behind 19 per cent.

RSM cyber security specialist Steven Snaith told BBC News the finance industry is increasingly under threat from attack.

"There are lots of freely available cyber-attack tools and knowledge that can be sourced online. There is currently no legislation that makes possessing or developing these tools illegal and this is exacerbating the problem," he added.

According to the Information Commissioner's Office, more than 14,000 data breaches have been logged since the introduction of GDPR, but no fines have yet been issued.

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