Intelligence agencies in Britain need to take more action to assist regulators in protecting financial service companies from data breaches, said the chief of a parliamentary committee.
Conservative Party lawmaker Andrew Tyrie said that the Treasury Committee expressed concern over the “opaque lines of accountability”, especially between intelligence parties and regulators.
He added that although financial regulators report to Treasury, GCHQ, Britain’s security agency is accountable to the foreign minister and this might not always be their biggest priority.
“It is essential that the intelligence community gives the regulators the technical and practical support they need to do their job. This means making sure that financial cyber crime has a high priority, and is not subordinate to other work.
“Failure to do so would inhibit the ability of financial institutions to maintain an adequate level of protection for millions of consumers.”
Tesco Bank said that £2.5m was seized from 9,000 customers during November. Cyber security experts said a breach of this size has never previously occurred at a bank in the Western world.
Tyrie said in a letter he wrote to the National Cyber Security Centre that this was just one example of cyber criminals taking advantage of flaws in the financial service industry’s IT set-up.
The financial services sector could certainly benefit from help with cyber security. That remains the case with all industries, however. SMEs are operating in an age where cyber security jobs are every bit as important as other IT operatives. Those firms aware of this, and focusing on business protection, are the ones that will likely thrive.
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