Almost 70% of financial services companies have endured a cyber attack

Cyber criminal in a hoodie holding a laptop
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Keeper Security has revealed that 69% of financial institutions have experienced a cyber attack.

Nearly half reported having experienced an attack in the last 12 months. These findings stem from the cybersecurity company’s 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses.

Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the report surveyed 2,391 IT and IT security practitioners in the US, UK, DACH, Benelux and Scandinavia. Of the companies surveyed, 348 are from the financial services sector.

According to 77% of respondents, cyber attacks have become more targeted recently. Respondents also noted these attacks have become more severe than in the past (64%) and more sophisticated (63%).

Of those surveyed, only 26% said their organizations have decreased the time it takes to respond to an attack. Meanwhile, 47% said they don't even have a plan in place for responding to a cyberattack. Further, only 39% of financial services firms believe their IT security is effective in protecting them against threats.

"The financial services sector is in the midst of a pivotal era of disruption, but transformation should not come at the expense of cybersecurity. As a highly-regulated industry, it's imperative that firms don't let cyber criminals fill the gaps," said Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper.

"Unfortunately, the majority of these businesses have already experienced a cyberattack and our research shows they're still not going far enough to prevent the next one."

Cyber attacks can be remarkably damaging for financial institutions. According to Keeper Security, breaches in the financial sector have caused the loss or theft of an average of 7,095 customer and employee records and cost companies an average of $1.06 million.