Cybercrime threat on the rise, says PwC report

Cybersecurity graphic Cybercrime includes fraudsters stealing bank customers' data

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Cybercrime is becoming an increasing threat to the financial services sector, according to a report by an accountancy firm.

Cybercrime relates to economic crime committed using computers and the internet, such as stealing bank details.

The PwC report claimed that cases, and the perceived threat from the crime, had grown in the sector globally.

It also suggested that fraud by staff was becoming more of an issue.

The percentage of frauds in which senior management were involved had risen from 12% of cases in 2009 to 18% of cases in 2011, PwC said.

"This suggests that tone at the top and overall senior management attitude to fighting fraud is worsening, and presents an increasing challenge for non-executive board members," said Andrew Clark, forensic services partner at PwC.

The report was based on analysis of 3,877 responses to PwC's questions from organisations in 79 countries.

The findings suggested that the financial services sector was the most common target of fraudsters.

Asset misappropriation remained the biggest area of fraud in this industry, followed by cybercrime.

The latter featured fraudsters taking over accounts, siphoning off money, or by stealing the customer's data and using it to impersonate the customer, or selling the data so that others may impersonate the customer.

PwC said this crime put the "customers, brand and reputation at significant risk".

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