Quick Thoughts: Financial and Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Our Chief Market Strategist Stephen Dover shares his thoughts that we are now entering a new era of the internet with accelerated computing power and innovations that threaten all current cybersecurity.

    Stephen Dover, CFA

    Stephen Dover, CFA Chief Market Strategist, Head of Franklin Templeton Investment Institute, Franklin Templeton

    Cyberattacks are projected to exceed US$6 trillion in 2021, with growing threats to our financial systems and infrastructure. We are now entering a new era of the internet with accelerated computing power and innovations, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI), that threaten all current cybersecurity. Our Chief Market Strategist Stephen Dover offers his take.

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    Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime globally, rapidly escalating in size, sophistication, and costs while exposing the integrity of our infrastructure and financial systems. Cybercrime losses globally are projected to exceed US$6 trillion in 2021, more than damage costs from natural disasters in a year, and more profitable than the global trading of all illegal drugs combined.1

      • We are now entering a new era of the internet with accelerated computing power and innovations, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI), that can break into networks. All current cryptography and cybersecurity are at risk.

      • Nascent technologies may soon decrypt widely used cybersecurity and cryptography algorithms—RSA and Elliptic Curve—that for decades were virtually impossible to crack. This has broad implications for infrastructure and financial systems, including jeopardizing cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

      • There's a perception that blockchains are thoroughly secure, but a bad actor using quantum computing can take over 51% of any blockchain network and manipulate that blockchain.

      • China, Russia, Canada, UK, and the US have invested over US$1 billion since 2018 in the race for quantum supremacy and defense against cyberattacks.2

      • Financial services firms spend an average of 10% of information technology (IT) budgets on cybersecurity, or 0.2% to 0.9% of revenue. The most successful programs elevate cybersecurity beyond IT, aligning cybersecurity with a company's business strategy and leadership.3

      We believe in embedding cybersecurity in our processes, leadership, and core investments, to protect our firm and our clients’ personal, current, and historical data from cyberattacks. For more, watch “Quick Talks: Financial and Infrastructure Cybersecurity with QuSecure, Part 1,” my conversation with cybersecurity experts and QuSecure founders, Dave Krauthamer and Rebecca Krauthamer, who orchestrate global cybersecurity to mitigate devastating cyberattacks.

      ENDNOTES

      1. Sources: “2019/2020 Cybersecurity Almanac: 100 Facts, Figures, Predictions And Statistics,” Cybercrime Magazine, February 6, 2019 and “Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025,” Cybercrime Magazine, November 13, 2020.

      2. Source: "Top 10 Countries Leading in Quantum Computing Technology," Analytics Insight, December 14, 2019.

      3. Source: “Financial services firms spend 6% to 14% of IT budget on cybersecurity – survey,” Pensions & Investments, May 1, 2019.

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