Financial institutions lost $12bn to cyberattacks in 20 years – IMF

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Washington, April 12, 2024 – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says financial institutions lost a total of $12 billion to cyberattacks in the last 20 years.

According to its April 2024 Global Financial Stability Report just released, $2.5 billion out of the amount was lost between 2020 and 2024,

The IMF expressed concern that the rising incidents of cyberattacks on financial institutions globally could affect confidence in the financial system and destabilize economies.

“Financial firms have reported significant direct losses, totaling almost $12 billion since 2004 and $2.5 billion since 2020,” the IMF stated.

According to the body, financial firms, given the large amounts of sensitive data and transactions they handle, are often targeted by criminals seeking to steal money or disrupt economic activity.

“Attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed.

“Incidents in the financial sector could threaten financial and economic stability if they erode confidence in the financial system, disrupt critical services, or cause spillovers to other institutions.

“Cyber incidents that disrupt critical services like payment networks could also severely affect economic activity. For example, a December attack at the Central Bank of Lesotho disrupted the national payment system, preventing transactions by domestic banks.

“Financial institutions in advanced economies, particularly in the United States, have been more exposed to cyber incidents than firms in emerging market and developing economies,” it said.

Citing JPMorgan Chase as an example, the IMF said the largest US bank recently reported experiencing 45 billion cyber events per day while spending $15 billion on technology every year and employing 62,000 technologists – many focused on cybersecurity.

It added that cyber incidents are a key operational risk that could threaten financial institutions’ operational resilience and adversely affect overall macro-financial stability. (GBN)

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