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9 Cybersecurity Stats Independent Financial Advisers Need To Know

Robust cybersecurity is essential for IFAs. The protection of sensitive data, such as banking details and personally identifiable documents, is vital for maintaining client trust and meeting regulatory requirements.

In this post, we outline 9 cybersecurity statistics financial advisers need to know, considering the threats you need to be careful of, why they affect your business, and how to protect against them.

What Cybersecurity Threats Do You Need To Be aware of?

1. In 2020, 10% of data breaches happened within the financial industry, with 58% involving the loss of personal data

Personal information is abundant within financial services, making it a prime target for data thieves. Financial firms are beginning to realise that the cybersecurity they have in place may not be enough to fully protect their client data.

2. 80% of FS firms have seen an increase in cyberattacks due to Covid-19

The arrival of the pandemic and the ‘new normal’ have pushed communications and services online, especially within financial services. Protecting your business from digital risk has never been more important, with financial firms being urged to revisit their cybersecurity strategy.

3. 93% of businesses have had data breaches from outbound emails in the past year

For companies within the financial services, healthcare and legal industries, outbound email has proven to be one of the main mediums through which data breaches occur, and predominantly this is down to human error.

4. 95% of email data breaches are caused by human error

Although cybersecurity solutions often focus on email threats such as phishing and malware, it is important to recognise that the majority of data breaches stem from people, with 52% of individuals admitting to unintentionally sending an email containing sensitive information.

Why Does This Matter To Your Business?

5. In 2021, The average total cost of a data breach has increased by 10% to $4.24 million

The financial impact of a data breach can be devastating to a business, with the sudden increase in digital communications leaving plenty of opportunities for one to occur. When considering how remote working has affected this, 20% of organisations have now experienced a data breach due to a remote employee, with the incidents taking, on average, 29 days longer to identify and contain.

6. 33% of UK businesses have lost customers following a data breach

Reputation is an IFA’s greatest asset – the foundation for acquiring and retaining clients. However, it has been revealed that businesses who do not take the right steps to protect their clients’ data are suffering the consequences, with 38% losing customers due to security issues.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Company?

7. It only takes 10 minutes to crack a 6 character long, lowercase password

Passwords are the most used method of account security. However, they are also one of the easiest access points for intrusion, as people regularly reuse short and simple passwords across multiple accounts. It is recommended that you change your password every 3 months, using a combination of random words to make at least 10 characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

8. Financial accounts (93%) and email accounts (53%) are ranked as most important to secure with two-factor authentication

While it is essential to have a strong password, it is also important to use two-factor authentication (2FA) when securing your accounts. For outbound email especially, 2FA verifies that only your intended recipient can open your message, ensuring that sensitive data is seen by the right eyes.

9. Security-related risks are reduced by 70% when businesses invest in cybersecurity training and awareness

Dedicated cybersecurity training can keep your employees aware of any risks that threaten the stability of your business. However, as of 2019, only 27% of UK businesses had performed any training in the past 12 months.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cyber threats, especially to email, are becoming more frequent than ever and have only been intensified by the pandemic.
  • Businesses that do not prioritise cybersecurity can suffer financial and reputational losses.
  • Protecting client data by using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and security training is recommended.

Are You Looking To Improve Your Firm’s Cybersecurity?

Mailock is a dedicated email security software, protecting the sensitive information sent out in your emails with end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication challenges. Find out more.


Originally posted on 05 11 21
Last updated on December 21, 2023

Posted by: Sabrina McClune

Sabrina McClune is an expert researcher with an MA in Digital Marketing. She was a finalist in the Women In Tech Awards 2022. Sabrina has worked extensively with B2B technology companies conducting and compiling thorough academically driven research to produce online and offline media. She loves to read fantasy novels and collect special edition books.

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