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Finance Firms to Spend More on Security as Concern over Cyber Crime Soars

April 11, 2017

“The rise of more than one third in the number of firms investing in cybersecurity in just 12 months suggests that financial firms are at last waking up to cyber-risks,” says former regulator Vaughan Edwards, now MD of independent regulatory consultancy


A number of banks have faced cyber attacks in recent years, with HSBC’s online banking service hit after hackers tried to force the system to crash in January, and a report by Lucy Barton in the London Daily Telegraph claims that more than eight in ten financial services firms plan to spend more time and money on cybersecurity this year.


The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will also be implemented next year, implementing regulations with penalties that could see companies fined 4pc of their global turnover for failing to take steps against preventable cyber attacks.


“The dark web and cybercrime will cause dramatic disruption to a raft of industries in 2017 – with insurance and finance probably at the top of the list,” says Chris Woods, director at “The most agile firms, including the smaller players, will evolve and prosper; but some – perhaps even including a big name – will perish.”


The Internet of Things (IoT) “will spawn a profitable new division of the cyber-crime industry where cyber criminals will help individuals ‘change’ the parameters in their ‘profile fingerprint’,” adds Woods, “and organised cyber-crime firms will earn fortunes by modifying data so that clients can mask ‘unhelpful aspects of their identity’ and bypass problems when dealing with government agencies and banks – or simply when buying insurance at a competitive price regardless of their ‘lifestyle choices.


“Clever marketing by cyber-criminals will help customers not see this personal data modification as illegal, but simply as achieving ‘freedom from bureaucratic controls and snooping’.”


As machine-to-machine communication becomes increasingly part of everyday life ‘Hack the Human’ will always be the weakest link as organised crime and global corporations battle to protect public and private organisations. Big data, the sheer volume of information obtained about individuals, will lead to criminal activity focused in this area.

And, adds Mr Woods, “cybercrime will explode due to lack of skills within organisations to curtail it…”