Building a united front on financial crimes

According to PwC’s new report financial institutions should integrate cybersecurity, anti-fraud and AML systems for better protection

Financial institutions are concerned about cybercrimes, but don’t know how best to prevent them. In PwC’s 2018 Global State of Information Security Survey (GSISS) and the 21st Global CEO Survey, CEOs and boards named cyberattacks as the business threat they were most concerned about.  During the recent CEO Survey that took place in 2017, 66% of business leaders in Cyprus said that they are concerned about Cyber threats compared to 40% last year.

Despite the increased concerned recorded at a global level, PwC’ GSISS survey revealed that 44% of respondents did not have an overall information security strategy.  According to PwC’s new report “Building a United Front on Financial Crimes”, financial institutions should converge cybersecurity, anti-fraud and AML systems for better protection against cyber threats.

Financial institutions are increasingly facing pressure to comply with regulations and protect themselves from financial, operational and reputational risks, while incidents relating to fraud, cyber attacks and money laundering are regularly in the news. At the same time, financial institutions need to be able to push back on suspicious transactions very quickly, because customers expect their payments and other requests to be processed instantaneously. To achieve this, they would need to enhance and streamline their control efforts from a governance, people, process and technology perspective. Effective communication and collaboration between teams across the three lines of defense is key, in this effort to coordinate cybersecurity, anti-fraud and AML controls.

Stelios C Constantinou, Partner, Head of Financial services, at PwC Cyprus commented: “We need to adapt swiftly, in order to respond to the challenges of the new digital era. Financial institutions in Cyprus need to adopt a specific strategic plan and at the same time identify the various technologies and tools that are available, in order to successfully reach more effective solutions.”

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