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January 31, 2018

Financial services cybersecurity needs URGENT reform – VMware

Financial services has proven time and time again to be the number one target for threat actors, making these findings all the more troubling.

By Tom Ball

Caught in a pincer movement of an increasingly dangerous threat landscape and the pursuit of digital transformation, financial services IT security teams are struggling more than ever.

A troubling 90 per cent of IT security professionals have to make compromises to maintain security within their organisation, highlighting the extent to which teams are stretched.

The lack of resources is made clear by the statistic that shows 71 per cent of IT security teams having to drop the protection of other systems to channel their energies into protecting customers applications.

Financial services cybersecurity needs URGENT reform - VMwareUnsurprisingly it has also been uncovered that a lack of understanding from the top down is contributing to these weaknesses, with 53 per cent of IT security teams feeling that their leadership teams do not understand the complexity of the threats they are dealing with.

These findings were gathered and presented by VMware, recognising the critical need for reform in this area. The report also includes the finding that 25 per cent of teams stated the impact of cybercrime is simply treated as a cost of doing business.

Ian Jenkins, Head of Network and Security, UK, VMware said, “In chasing the digital promised land, financial services organisations run the constant risk of overstretching already antiquated security infrastructures. Those on the front line defending against cyberthreats clearly feel there are significant flaws ready to be exploited: this should act as a wake-up call that there are serious risks to data if security isn’t baked into everything the organisations do. Ignoring them and the compromises they’re having to make could be hugely damaging.”

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This is very troubling news with GDPR arriving on the 25th of May this year, especially considering that the financial services are the number one target of threat actors looking to reap financial rewards from their cyber exploits.

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Richard Bennett, Head of Accelerate and Advisory Services, VMware said: “This past era of compromise towards cybersecurity must end. A revised approach to protecting digital assets, starting at a security by design philosophy, is required to allow IT security professionals to dynamically manage the myriad of threats now faced. This involves understanding that cybersecurity does not begin and end with IT, but is a challenge for the whole organisation. It is also about recognising that adaptive networking, applications and systems are no longer nice to haves, and that cyberhygiene is intrinsic to a company’s digital footprint today.”

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