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Amid an increasing shift to digital services, the world’s big banks are stepping up their investment in cybersecurity, says Moody’s Investors Service.

In a new report, the rating agency said that a survey of global banks found that the larger institutions are increasing their investment in cyber defences.

“Banks that handle extensive customer and proprietary data, that are custodians of customers’ wealth and that facilitate transactions across payments networks, are critical infrastructure and ripe targets for cyberattacks,” Moody’s said.

For this reason, these kinds of firms have been leaders in enhancing their cybersecurity strategies and investing in online defences, processes and talent.

The greater investment by bigger banks is true regardless of whether their size is measured by assets, employees or revenue, Moody’s explained, noting, “Investment in cybersecurity is on the rise across most banks we surveyed, and is independent of the bank’s comparative credit strength and track record of managing asset risk.”

The share of banks’ technology budgets that’s being devoted to security is increasing in most regions, the survey found, with banks having “generally reported” that they have adopted advanced cyber defence measures.

“Sophisticated practices are more common among North American and larger banks,” Moody’s said.

North American banks make “significantly more use of cyber insurance” than their European counterparts, the survey found, saying, “About 75% of respondents have standalone cyber insurance with coverage on business interruption, legal settlements, regulatory fines and ransom payments.”