Financial organisations ‘need to think carefully about IT security’

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An expert has said more use needs to be made of technology in order to protect financial organisations.

Financial organisations including banks need to think more carefully about the way they protect themselves against cyber attacks, it has been claimed.

Mike McConnell, former US director of national intelligence and now Booz Allen vice chairman, told Wall Street & Technology there are too many "lethal" daily threats to ignore these days.

"It is imperative that chief information security officers begin looking around corners, talk with each other and better prioritise the real threats to their firms," he warned.

Mr McConnell said self-evaluation is essential and insisted good data protection measures can be brought in while still providing excellent services and efficiency.

He pointed out that people not only want to steal data these days, but also to destroy it in order to cause maximum disruption.

"The financial services industry must fully understand the entire threat landscape and what this means in terms of employing the right people, technology and processes to ensure business continuity and proper risk management," the expert said.

Tips from Booz Allen recommended carrying out an analysis on the risks for particular businesses in order to determine what needs to be done to prevent them.

Accurate strategies can then be brought in to protect sensitive data rather than relying on one-size-fits-all methods.

The organisation also recommended that financial organisations should make use of the ‘bring your own device’ trend and of the online backup provided by cloud computing in order to remain secure, as they are "too cost efficient and effective" to ignore.

It comes after technology sector trade association Intellect criticised British banks for failing to overhaul their IT infrastructure in order to avoid financial crises and system failures.

In a report earlier this year, it said years of low investment in technology makes infrastructure that processes everything from loan applications to transactions vulnerable to interruption at any time.

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