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UK FIs step up action against cybercrime

The issues of fraud and security should be forefront in the minds of every financial institution (FI) at the current time. As the consequences of failings in this area can be severe, ranging from lost income to damaged reputations and regulatory fines, it’s imperative than efforts are made to improve their defenses.

It’s heartening then, to see that banks are responding to these threats, as a new survey from the UK highlights. Research conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and PwC shows that 84 percent of financial services firms in the country expect to invest in new preventative technologies and IT systems to guard against security threats this year.

The focus was even stronger among building societies, as 100 percent of respondents from this part of sector stated they would invest in this area.

As well as preventative solutions, 83 percent of FIs said they would devote more resources to penetration testing, while 82 percent stated they would focus on testing their incident response plans. Again, building societies led the way, with 100 percent of these firms doing both.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of FIs expect to invest in cyber security training and awareness programs, while two-thirds (67 percent) will look to employ personnel with expertise in this area.

Commenting on the findings, CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “Firms continue to keep a close eye on the challenges ahead, from concerns over labor shortages and the impact of regulation costs on business expansion. It’s reassuring to see them taking meaningful steps to address cybercrime, as it rises up the risk register.”

Elsewhere, the study also found there remains a high level of optimism within the UK’s financial services sector, despite uncertainty over issues such as Brexit. The study noted that the sector is being helped by a “broadly resilient” economy that’s driving growth in business volumes.

Written by Jack Dougal