The UK’s financial sector will no doubt be checking business continuity plans in the light of reports that security breaches were up 12 times last year on the previous 12 months.
A Freedom of Information request to the Financial Conduct Authority revealed that the number of ‘declared events’, arising out of malware, ransomware, phishing attacks and other issues that put data at risk, soared from 69 in 2017 to 819 in 2018.
Nearly 60% of the reports submitted to the watchdog last year were by consumer banks.
Organisations have been obliged to report certain types of security breaches since the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. This is likely to have contributed to the spike.
However, there has also been an increasing number of cyber-attacks on the industry, insist RSM, the tax and consulting firm that made the FoI request.
Steven Snaith, the firm’s cyber-security specialist, said: “The web-enabled systems underpinning the financial services sector hold huge volumes of personal and financial data, which are incredibly valuable for cyber-criminals.”
Issues with equipment and software, switching from one system to another, and faults with third-party services were also reported.
Megan Butler, executive director of supervision for the FCA, expressed her concern that ‘a lot of firms still seem to be trying to get the basics right on cyber’.
In a speech she gave last November, she said: “A third of firms do not perform regular cyber-assessments. Most know where their data is, but describe it as a challenge to maintain that picture. Nearly half of firms do not upgrade or retire old IT systems in time.
Small firms rely on old processes
“And only the largest firms have automated their detection systems to spot potential cyber-attacks. Smaller firms are generally relying on old school, manual processes – or no processes at all.”
Losing access to business data for even a few hours can cause irreparable damage.
Downtime leads to lost business and the risk of customers jumping ship to a competitor.
Luckily the technology exists that enables financial organisations to access the files and information that they need immediately in the event of a disaster.
Unlike other disaster recovery solutions, Redstor has no need to restore all of an organisation’s data before the business begins operating again.
With InstantDataTM technology the most critical files, the ones an organisation decides it needs to access first, can be streamed immediately and on demand – enabling employees to continue working seamlessly on any device.
Importantly, while staff work on these files, the remaining data will be intelligently restored in the background without delays, downtime or disruption.
IT staff can also recover physical, virtual or cloud-hosted machines to VMware or Hyper-V in a few clicks to maintain business continuity and make recovery targets a thing of the past.
This capability is just one feature of a complete data management solution that unifies backup and recovery, DR, archiving and insight and allows organisations to discover, manage and control data from a single control centre.