Improving cybersecurity is now top of the technology investment agenda at banks, according to an annual survey conducted by Lloyds Banking Group: climbing above reducing operating costs and improving customer satisfaction – last year’s priorities.
That’s according to the bank’s Financial Institutions Sentiment Survey, now in its fourth year, which worrying also finds that just 59 percent of respondents say that they are ready for a “no deal” Brexit, or one without a further transition period.
(The survey captures the views of a small but influential sample group of 100 executives at global banks insurers, intermediaries, investors and asset managers).
The three most significant risks cited by survey respondents remained unchanged on last year, with the UK’s departure from the EU top (58 percent), followed by economic uncertainty (36 percent), and new regulation (31 percent).
But CISOs will be pleased to note that a drum beat of warnings from security teams about growing cybersecurity risks are percolating upward, with concerns about cybercrime (29 percent) leaping to fourth place, from eight in 2018. Improving cybersecurity is now firmly on the radar, even if it has taken this long.
Other technology investment priorities for the coming year include the cloud, (60 percent planning investment) and API software (49 percent).
Robina Barker Bennett, head of financial institutions, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Against a backdrop of on-going global economic turbulence, it is unsurprising that sentiment among financial institutions towards the sector and the wider economy is lower than in previous years. That said, the responses to this survey show the sector’s resilience during difficult times and it is especially encouraging to see that firms plan to continue investing in the UK.
“In 2019, firms are arguably more dependent than ever on technology. With this rapid advancement, the risks from cybercrime are increasing, placing extra pressure on financial institutions to change the way they operate.”
A notable 46 percent of firms meanwhile expect to grow their investment in fintech to over the next 12 months. Some 51 percent will maintain investment at current levels and a mere 3 percent anticipate dialling down their activity.