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The Hidden Costs of Downtime in Financial Services

We surveyed executives across the Global 2000 to explore the depths of downtime: what it costs, what causes it, and what leading organizations are doing right. Here, we highlight findings from respondents in the Financial Services industry.


The cost of downtime for Financial Services organizations is $152 million annually.

Revenue loss ($37M) accounts for nearly a quarter of downtime-related expenses. But other direct costs add up, too. Respondents cite regulatory fines ($22M) and settlements/legal costs ($14M) as other top cost drivers.

Splunk for Financial Services

Downtime can come from anywhere

Downtime isn’t just an ITOps or engineering issue. It’s a security one as well. Understanding the most common culprits can help companies manage incident response and possibly prevent lightning from striking twice.

The Global 2000 confirmed downtime’s dual origins: 56% come from security incidents while 44% stem from application or infrastructure issues.

Cybersecurity-related human error is “often” or “very often” the offender, according to 55% of Financial Services organizations. Other top cybersecurity-related downtime causes include:

  • Malware attacks (43%)
  • SaaS/third-party application issues (28%)

Cybersecurity-related human error results in the most downtime — and takes the longest to detect and remediate.

18 hours average mean time to detect (MTTD)

61 hours average mean time to recover (MTTR)

Tackling downtime with smart technology investments

Financial Services organizations spend a combined $30.7M on cybersecurity tools ($16.3M) and observability tools ($14.4M) annually — less than the combined average across all industries ($43.3M).

No other technology has made as much of a splash recently as generative AI: 67% use discrete generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT) to address downtime.

Meanwhile, 56% use generative AI features embedded into existing tools, such as AI assistants that help write queries and troubleshoot.

Financial Services institutions’ toughest obstacles to managing downtime

79% say data sprawl


51% say too many false positives/alert fatigue


Financial Services organizations can champion a more resilient business

Learn more about the Hidden Costs of Downtime and how Splunk can help.

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Financial Services Overview