Manchester-based B-Compliant is urging firms in the financial sector to use October’s Cyber Security Month as an opportunity to stress test their technological defences.
The financial compliance specialists want FCA-regulated businesses to be more aware of their cybersecurity and take reasonable steps to protect the information they hold on clients.
B-Compliant director, Vicky Pearce, said: “Hackers don’t care about your bank balance, it’s your clients’ personal details that are valuable. Just imagine what an attack on your systems could do. The damage to your business and reputation would be catastrophic. GDPR also places the onus on you to protect sensitive data and you could be fined heavily for any breach of the rules.”
October marks the 10th anniversary of European Cyber Security Month, run by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA). The awareness campaign aims to change behaviour online and reduce cyber incidents and is focusing this year on ransomware and phishing, both huge risks for the financial sector.
B-Compliant is recommending firms implement employee training to ensure all staff can identify malicious emails and files that lead to malware attacks and viruses, that they ensure any cloud-based software providers meet regulatory requirements and personal data is protected by strong passwords.
Vicky added: “According to research, our industry is the top target for phishing lures, which means we need robust defences in place. The increased usage of cloud-based applications and the popularity of remote working are risk factors that were perhaps not present in many firms just five years ago and if your security hasn’t been reviewed for a while, it is time to take action.”