The global economy will lose $5.2trn (£4.19trn) over the next five years because of cyber crime, with insurers, banks and capital markets facing a $700bn hit.
That is according to research from consultancy firm Accenture, which found that the average cost of cyber crime for financial services is 40% higher than in all other sectors.
Financial services firms now suffer losses of $18.5m on average a year, compared with $13m for all other companies, with malicious insider attacks the most expensive.
The researchers expect banks to lose $347bn over the next five years because of cyber crime, with insurers experiencing losses of $305bn and capital markets $47bn.
Accenture said that financial services continuously record the highest cyber crime costs despite experiencing a similar number of breaches to other companies.
The firm's global security and resilience lead for financial services, Chris Thompson, said that prudent technology investments at the right spending levels would reduce costs.
"These savings are crucial for financial services executives trying to decide how much to spend on security versus other key areas, such as their overall digital transformation," he added.
However, the researchers found that only 34% of financial services firms are deploying automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to combat cyber threats.
Similarly, only 24% are making extensive use of cyber analytics and user behavior analytics, suggesting that companies are struggling to keep pace with the new technology.
Accenture said that investments in security intelligence and threat-sharing technologies have an estimated annual return of 22.5%, second only to advanced identity and access management.
Yet security intelligence and threat sharing is in the bottom three investments among financial services firms, with a similar value gap existing for automation, AI, machine learning and cyber analytics.
"By investing wisely in advanced technologies and at the appropriate levels, firms can reduce their costs, improve their overall cyber security resilience and position themselves to make more of their crime prevention investment," Accenture said.