Cyber-risk named as the “number-one threat” to the financial services industry.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the creation of a new consortium to help strengthen cybersecurity for financial technology companies (fintechs).

The consortium’s founding members include representatives from Citigroup, Zurich Insurance Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and financial infrastructure provider The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

Its aim, says the WEF, is to create a framework for the assessment of cybersecurity in financial technology.

“Cyber-risk is the number-one threat to the financial services industry and its infrastructure, so it is critically important that we work together to share insights and drive best practice,” said Michael Bodson, president and CEO of DTCC.

“This initiative will further strengthen cyber-resilience and foster greater collaboration with our colleagues across the public and private sectors globally.”

According to the WEF, the consortium was created after leading cybersecurity experts identified the growing threat of cyber-attacks to financial services providers as a key concern for the global financial system.

Their first tranche of proposed solutions were published in an accompanying WEF white paper last week.

“Cyber breaches recorded by businesses have almost doubled since 2013 and the estimated cost of cybercrime is $8 trillion over the next five years,” said Mario Greco, CEO of Zurich Insurance Group.

“We expect the consortium to help adopt best cybersecurity practices and reduce the complexity of diverging cyber regulation around the world.”

The WEF said the consortium will be tasked with developing common principles for cybersecurity assessments, guidance for implementation, a point-based scoring framework, and guidance on improving an organization’s score.

The news follows the publication of the WEF’s Global Risks Report, in which cyber-attacks were ranked as the third most likely global risk in 2018.