Financial services firms “must take data security more seriously” warns Advanced 365

Financial Services firms must take data security more seriously and adapt their strategies to mitigate the risk of emerging cyber threats

Financial Services firms must take data security more seriously and adapt their strategies to mitigate the risk of emerging cyber threats

Financial services organisations must take data security more seriously and adapt their strategies to mitigate the risk of emerging cyber threats in what’s tipped to be the sector’s next disruptive decade. These are the findings of a new White Paper commissioned by managed service provider Advanced 365.

Security attacks impacting the financial services sector are on the rise, with 93% of firms experiencing data breaches in the last 12 months. The average loss in reputational brand value for a company is estimated to be between £117 million and £210 million but, in truth, could well be even higher when considering the damage done to customer trust.

A detailed survey of 758 financial services respondents recently conducted by PwC has revealed that the average number of security incidents climbed by 8% in 2014 to a record-breaking 4,978 per organisation.

Around 80% of cyber attacks succeed in less than one day, yet only 21% of those attacks are discovered in the same day. The average breach inside major companies remains undetected for somewhere around 229 days.

The sector is facing unprecedented disruption due to sweeping technological and social trends which pose new challenges to security. Threats will grow dramatically as many businesses continue to migrate from major legacy platforms which will then expose more security flaws.

Adapting to new threats

Neil Cross, managing director at Advanced 365, stated: “Data security is the most critical issue affecting the financial services industry today. However, many firms are not doing enough to adapt to the emerging new threats which will become increasingly disruptive across the next decade.”

Neil Cross: Managing Director at Advanced 365

Neil Cross: Managing Director at Advanced 365

Cross continued: “The nature of cyber crime has and is maturing. Without question, organisations must take this issue more seriously and invest in updating their security strategies now before it’s too late.”

The White Paper also highlights how emerging payment technologies, such as Apple Pay, are expected to see mass market adoption by the end of 2016, with the mobile wallet market forecast to reach £3.34 trillion on a global basis come 2020.

The payment systems involved will “revolutionise” how consumers purchase goods and services but will also become increasingly targeted by hackers.

Cloud computing, the Internet of Things and Big Data analytics are also influencing ever-changing regulatory and legislative requirements in financial services and offer a mix of risks and opportunities for managing data security.

While the in-depth survey reveals that 70% of executives believe that security represents a strategic risk for their companies, just 28% of financial services firms* feel the risk of damages from data security breaches is outweighed by the cost of prevention.

In conclusion, Cross added: “Businesses must accept the fact that their security policies can no longer be focused on just identifying threats and preventing them. In order to survive, they must also define areas of risk and develop mitigation strategies to match them.”

Read the White Paper, entitled ‘The Future of Data Security in Financial Services’, by clicking here.

*Report produced by Information Technology-focused research companies Kaspersky Lab and B2B International


About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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