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Cyber-attacks are increasingly becoming a norm in the banking world. The reality is that each bank, building society and lender is at risk of being hacked or attacked in some way. Attackers are becoming more ruthless, determined and innovative with their methods. Even Swift (one of the largest providers in the world) have informed their customers that it is here to stay.

Recently we have seen Tesco Bank’s customers under attack with millions stolen. HSBC locked out their customers from internet banking for several hours following online criminal activities in January, and last year we saw NatWest and RBS attacked leaving customers also unable to access their accounts. But do we really see the full extent of cyber-attacks, as it was reported that British banks are not disclosing the full details of these attacks in the fear of bad publicity or regulator fines.

These incidents have brought concerns over whether banks IT system security are good enough. However, this is now very much on provider’s agenda, squeezing their way into core strategy requirements. Barclays attempted to hack their own system at the end of last year to look for flaws to fix, with the aim to protect their customer’s.

Unfortunately this is all visible at a time that the financial industry is looking to progress with technology. A particular highlight being the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) account app, encouraging banks and third party parties to collaborate, enabling customer’s to manage their accounts from multiple providers through a single digital ‘app’.

Attacks may not just be towards banks. In the 2016 BSA Conference, PwC said we should look at the bigger picture of security. Banks can make their system highly secure, however cyber-attacks can occur from the customers PC, or other routes outside of their control.

We must stay vigilant; put the necessary security strategy in place and software vendors to spend more on their budget addressing these issues.

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