On April 1st, President Barack Obama declared that cyber-attacks constitute a national emergency and issued an executive order sanctioning the finances of foreign-based digital intruders.

The president’s announcement was no April Fool’s Day joke. Cybercrime caused  $445 billion in damages globally last year, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank. A Hewlett Packard-sponsored study found that the financial sector suffered the 2nd highest annual cybercrime cost behind energy & utilities.

The average financial institution incurs an annualized cyber attack expense of $13 million. The most prevalent types of cyberattacks include viruses and worms, followed by malware, botnets, web-based attacks and phishing schemes, respectively, said the study. The primary actors targeting the financial services industry are often hackers connected to crime syndicates in former Soviet Bloc countries, according to cyber security experts.

Read more at Iris.xyz.