Invest in new skills to solve cyber vulnerability financial services sector told

Financial services companies have been told they must increase their cyber security amid predictions that the level of attacks are set to ramp up dramatically in the year ahead.

The warning was delivered to over 250 cybersecurity professionals in the financial services sector at a special symposium hosted by the Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) and the bank of England. They were warned there is now an urgent need to build greater resilience against the threat cybercriminals pose by investing in new skills.

The Financial Sector Cybersecurity Symposium heard that cyber threats include a growing number of ransomware attacks and that these will almost certainly increase during 2022. Supply chain service providers, who often cross international boundaries, were also seen as an increasing source compromising reasonably well-defended networks.

Martin Smith MBE, founder and chairman of SASIG, said: “The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and cybersecurity professionals in the financial services sector are having to redouble their effort in the face of persistent threats. It is critical that the industry invests in new skills to understand the threats being faced and that it factors in robust cyber resilience procedures to manage threats effectively.

“Nine out of 10 security breaches involve human intervention, either by accident or by design. And by creating no-blame cultures, where cybersecurity is second nature, firms will be able to stop the majority of incidents. Continuous learning and shared experiences will also foster a relentless focus on security.

“To do this, we need to attract a new breed of cybersecurity professionals to combine with established technical teams and vendors to protect firms’ data, information and systems.”

A consistent theme during the symposium was that employees and supply chain partners must have the right skills to spot potential threats. Financial services firms that are at high risk can strengthen their ability to protect against cyber threats by creating a business culture that builds internal capacity and greater confidence.

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