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IMF Warns Of $12bn Loss To Cyberattacks In Financial Institutions In 20 Years

2 months ago
1 min read

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a warning about the escalating threat of cyberattacks targeting financial institutions worldwide.

According to the IMF’s recent report, financial firms have suffered substantial losses, totaling $12 billion over the last two decades, with $2.5 billion lost between 2020 and 2024 alone.

“Attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed,” the IMF stated. This revelation comes amidst growing concerns that cyberattacks could undermine confidence in the financial system and trigger economic instability.

The IMF highlighted the vulnerability of banks due to the vast amounts of sensitive data and transactions they handle. Notably, financial institutions in advanced economies, such as the United States, have been particularly susceptible to cyber incidents.

The report cited the example of JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, which faces a staggering 45 billion cyber events per day. Despite significant investments in technology and cybersecurity measures, financial institutions remain at risk of cyber threats.

READ ALSO: IMF Urges Nigeria To Boost Agriculture Inputs Amidst Soaring Food Prices

Several factors contribute to the surge in cyber incidents, including increased digital connectivity accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions. The IMF noted a correlation between cyberattacks and significant geopolitical events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

While cyber incidents have not yet caused systemic disruptions, the IMF warned of potential risks to macro-financial stability. Recent high-profile attacks, like the ransomware incident targeting the US arm of China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank, underscore the potential threat to financial stability.

To mitigate these risks, the IMF emphasized the need for a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy, effective regulation, and supervisory capacity. Central banks and authorities must assess the cybersecurity landscape regularly, promote cyber maturity among financial firms, and prioritize data reporting and information sharing.

International cooperation is also crucial in addressing cyber threats, given that attacks often originate from outside a firm’s home country and transcend borders.

As cyberattacks continue to evolve in sophistication and scale, safeguarding financial institutions against these threats remains a top priority for global economic stability.


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