Tuesday 11 October 2016 4:37 pm

Bank boards increasingly cautious about cyber security

Banks are increasingly worried about cyber security, with the risk now ranking among the top worries for boards, research out today has found.

Just less than half (48 per cent) of the banks asked as part of a worldwide survey by EY and the Institute of International Finance identified cyber security as one of the three most important risks for their board to consider over the next 12 months. 

More banks ranked cyber security within their top three concerns than firm culture (27 per cent), stress testing (18 per cent) and reputation risk (five per cent). Implementing new regulation was the only risk banks were more concerned about, with 50 per cent citing this within their top three. 

Meanwhile, over a two-thirds (68 per cent) reported cyber security was receiving more attention at board level. 

Read more: UK business doubles security spend as cyber threat grows

"I think what's changed in the last 12 to 18 months…is there's a recognition this isn't an IT risk. It's an enterprise-wide risk which happens to have an IT angle," Mark Watson, executive director of financial services for EY, told City A.M. 

To tackle the risk, three-quarters (75 per cent) of banks revealed they had increased the number of cyber security focused staff they employ, around half (55 per cent) said they had appointed specific cyber security roles and around a third (32 per cent) had created a chief information security officer-type position.