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Business Finance & Accounting

Is the UK Financial Services Industry Ready to Fight Cyber Attacks?

In the wake of the increasing number of cyber attacks, the financial firms have repeatedly been urged to ramp up their stance against such exposure. A report from the UK Finance clearly maintains that the firms with almost aging IT systems are at major risk.

The Flipside of Technology

The unprecedented advent of technology has no doubt, facilitated the speed and scale of transformation. However, it can – in no way – be denied that “technology” has also brought a whole new set of “safety” challenges with itself. It’s these business hazards that have actually served as the focus of the joint study conducted by a trade body and noted consultants Parker Fitzgerald.

Cases of Cyber Attacks

The financial services industry of UK is not new to cyber attacks- that too- of the biggest scale imaginable. It was just last year when a noted lender offering bad credit short term loans became the victim of one of the most talked-about cyber attacks in the UK—which resulted in the leakage of confidential data of more than a whopping 240,000 customers! Often dubbed as the worst case of cyber attack to have ever hit the UK market – this particular incident had actually resulted in the loss of very sensitive customer details including:

  • Names
  • Email details
  • Phone Numbers
  • Home Address
  • Sort Codes
  • Last Four Digits of Card Numbers
  • Bank Account Numbers

The company – in the wake of such a monstrous mishap did admit that the nature of cyber attacks is becoming more sophisticated with each passing day! However, once again, it has been widely opined that only acknowledging concerns will not really help in any fashion whatsoever. The financial companies in the country are rather expected to adopt more refined technologies like Artificial Intelligence to minimise costs in the light of the new business operations designed to avert risks. To start off with, these firms are actually expected to embrace a more realistic approach to their digital aspirations.

The Solution?

Dan Crisp from UK Finance opined that considering the ever increasing instances of data breaches through cyber attacks, it’s absolutely essential for the financial service sector to attach due importance to operational resilience – which – of course – means that simply having a firewall will not really suffice at any cost!

We have already mentioned the speed at which digital transformations are taking place. Keeping this particular trend in view – Crisp- opines that the need to integrate more innovative and efficacious technologies within the existing operating models to minimise risk—is more intense than ever. He has been very sagacious to point out that the risks (that we have – so far talked about) are not really isolated in nature. We are not really looking at different firms hit by different types of cyber threats. So, financial firms can easily go on to harness the new wave of innovation while simultaneously analysing the challenges of integrating the same to the existing business models.

The industry, no doubt, is working hard to develop technology to facilitate water-tight risk programmes but only when they demonstrate the sagacity to tie up with the policy makers themselves, will they succeed.