• British finance firms witness surge in cyber attacks

British finance companies have seen a huge growth in the number of cyber attacks, according to research from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The City watchdog said that 75 attacks have been officially reported to them this year, a massive increase compared to the five which were reported in 2014. Nausicaa Delfas, the FCA’s director of specialist supervision, said: “We know from firms’ reports to us that attacks are on the increase year-on-year — in 2014, we received five reports, in 2015, 27, and 75 so far in 2016.

“Whilst this significant increase indicates more attacks are occurring, this may also suggest better detection and great reporting to us on the part of the firms.”

The FCA had previously focused mainly on large businesses, but is now turning its attention to SMEs as well. All companies, no matter their size, are now required to inform the FCA about any known hacks and are expected to be able to identify them promptly.

Delfas said that tackling cybercrime is imperative, adding: “The reality is that even the smallest firm holds large quantities of sensitive data which, if compromised, could then have a ripple effect to other areas of the financial sector and, indeed, businesses more broadly.”

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