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Financial services’ cybersecurity spending jumps 15%, survey finds

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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Big banks and other financial services firms are spending 15% more this year to defend computer networks from cyber criminals. The pandemic and work-from-home arrangements are probably spurring further increases, a survey found.

Average spending per employee was budgeted at $2,691, up from $2,337 in 2019, according to the poll conducted by Deloitte & Touche and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an industry group known as FS-ISAC. Some firms have budgeted as much as $3,322 per employee for cybersecurity, up from the $3,000 maximum last year.

That would translate to about $850 million annually for JPMorgan Chase and almost $900 million for Wells Fargo, based on their June headcount figures, as the biggest banks spend more than smaller rivals on protecting their networks. For Bank of America and Citigroup, it would mean about $700 million each.

Cybersecurity spending has been growing for at least four years as the financial services sector remains a top target of cyber criminals.

Attacks trying to trick bank employees into clicking on malicious links jumped in the first quarter, with criminals attempting to take advantage of fear and confusion caused by the coronavirus pandemic, FS-ISAC said in May.

The Deloitte-FS-ISAC survey was carried out from late 2019 to January 2020, and 53 firms took part, including banks, insurance companies and non-bank lenders.

Bloomberg News