Over 80pc of financial services firms plan to pump cash into cybersecurity this year, almost double that of last year as fears over cyber attacks swell.
Corporate adviser Duff & Phelps, which analysed 200 executives in Europe, Hong Kong and the US, said 86pc of financial services firms intend to spend more time and money on cybersecurity this year.
That’s a significant increase on last year, when less than 60pc said they planned to do so, the company said.
The jump suggests that financial firms are waking up to the global crackdown on cybersecurity, with two thirds of respondents saying that they expect cybersecurity to be a priority for regulators this year compared to just 19pc a year earlier.
Jason Elmer, Duff & Phelps’ managing director for compliance and regulatory consulting, said that 2017 will be a “watershed year for cybersecurity regulation” following a string of high-profile attacks, upcoming regulations and increasing pressure from investors.
Protecting companies from cyber attacks has become a major focus in the UK, with Chancellor Philip Hammond announcing a five-year £1.9bn scheme to help prevent cyber-crime last November and Bank of England officials working with financial technology firms to combat fraud.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation, which could see companies fined 4pc of their global turnover for cyber attacks, will also be implemented next year.
A number of banks have faced cyber attacks in recent years, with HSBC’s online banking service hit after hackers tried to force the system to crash in January.