Cybersecurity should be the financial sector’s new year’s resolution

Cybersecurity should be the financial sector’s new year’s resolution

With a statement shortly before the turn of the new year, the FCA made it unambiguously clear that banks are underequipped and underprepared with the tools or knowledge to deal with the cyber risks they face on a daily basis. 

Cybercrime is not a minor issue for the finance sector that can be ignored. To get a sense of scale, it was predicted that ransomware alone was responsible for costing banks globally, $5 billion in 2017. This under preparedness extends to seemingly banal things like routine system updates. In fact, Britain’s five biggest banks had a total of 64 security or operational incidents that cut customers off from telephone, mobile or online banking in the second quarter of 2018.

Essentially an agenda has been set for 2019: sort out your IT, or things will get worse.

Many organisations are unaware of the need to stress test their systems in a controlled environment for how they handle outages. Disaster recovery testing is vital if administrators are to have a full understanding of the systems they are responsible for. Much like testing a fuse or a fire alarm, it is much easier to fix the problem when you’re aware that the problem exists.

A ‘cyber MOT’ is a must for banks if they want to combat cybercrime.

As such, financial institutions should adopt a zero day recovery architecture to make sure their systems can get back online quickly without having to worry about whether the workload is compromised.  This policy assigns an appropriate storage cost and therefore recovery time to each workload according to its strategic value to the business. 

Firms can either continue on its same course when it comes to IT, or look to remedy the issues that are becoming increasingly apparent with every year.  It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

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