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International Monetary Fund warns cyberattacks could trigger bank runs - Expert Comment

April 2024 by Sylvain Cortes, VP Strategy at Hackuity

The International Monetary Fund has warned of cyber risks to the financial sector, having assessed cybersecurity for the first time in its semi-annual financial risks report due to the threat of cyberattacks on the financial sector. According to their report, attacks are becoming so malicious and frequent that they risk triggering bank runs, whilst a lack of cyberattack data prevents effective study of potential dangers. The commentary from Sylvain Cortes, VP Strategy at Hackuity.

“The IMF report is a welcome step in raising awareness and providing analysis of the cyber risks facing the global financial system.
The financial sector is at risk of cyberattacks because it is a lucrative and strategic target for hackers who want to disrupt services, steal data, or extort money. Even though the financial sector is often light years ahead of other sectors in terms of cybersecurity, it still faces the same challenges: digitisation means that more financial transactions and services are conducted online, which creates more entry points and vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. The lack of binding regulations means that there is no consistent or enforceable standard for cybersecurity across the financial sector, and that leads to gaps or inconsistencies in protection. Weak corporate governance of cybersecurity means that some financial firms may not invest enough in cybersecurity or may not have adequate policies or procedures to prevent, detect, or respond to cyberattacks.
Whether it’s DORA, a landmark IMF report, or the latest breaking news, the finance sector is waking up to these threats and the responsibility they bear.”

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