Financial institutions are increasingly vulnerable to hackers, and regulators are taking a tougher stance on the sector in recent months, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
The report, titled “Financial Industry Haunting: Cybersecurity Threats to the Businesses and Consumers of the World,” says China’s financial industry is “haunting” its employees.
“This industry is an area of the financial sector that has become the most important for the economy to grow, and this is an industry that has been growing rapidly for the last five years,” WEPF chief economist Peter Diamandis said.
The Financial Industry Security Council of China is responsible for setting standards for financial companies, according the report, and the industry is facing more security threats from outside forces than from hackers.
Financial institutions are also under increased pressure from regulators to comply with new security standards that include tougher penalties for cybercrime.
Last year, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission issued a warning that the industry needed to adopt new security measures.
In October, the government announced it was cracking down on cybercriminals who are using the internet to target financial institutions and financial institutions are using new tools to prevent financial crime.
“Financial institutions need to work more closely with regulators to make sure that the sector does not suffer from cyber-attacks,” DiamANDIS said.
“In particular, financial institutions should not rely solely on online banking, as it is likely that they will be subject to more cyber-crime.”
The report said the financial industry was under pressure from the government to improve its cybersecurity.
“It is time for financial institutions to take stronger measures to improve security and protection of financial data,” Dias said.
Dias says China will continue to face challenges in the financial services sector.
“We are seeing a growing trend of cyberattacks in the sector, and that is part of a broader trend, which is a shift from the banking sector to the financial and investment sectors,” DIA Vice President of Regulatory Policy, Daniel J. Liu, said.
He said it is not clear how the government will address this trend, as the Chinese government has not released a strategy for financial sector security.