Close-up of British bank notes

UK banks ill prepared for cyber threats, concludes report

New findings on the cyberthreats facing the UK’s banking sector have shown major gaps in risk awareness and preparedness.


Less than one in five financial service workers believe their organisation has significantly improved their cyber security training, despite a notable increase in criminal activity and the wide adoption of remote working. This is one of the findings of a survey completed by cyber security awareness and data analytics company, CybSafe. It also revealed that 31 per cent of workers are not even aware that there has been an increase in cyberattacks.


CybSafe asked 1002 workers within the financial services sector questions regarding remote working, cyber threats and security awareness training. The number of cyber-attacks financial organisations face continues to increase, yet a significant proportion of workers (42 per cent) feel their cyber security training hasn’t increased since the beginning of the pandemic, even despite an enormous societal shift towards hybrid working.


The data presents a trend that suggests the financial services sector is failing to combat the increasing cyber risk properly. This is reflected in a recent analysis of ICO data conducted by CybSafe, which found that the financial services sector accounted for 11 per cent of all cyber attacks in the UK.


CybSafe’s recent research also discovered that one in five workers are not confident in their ability to navigate or spot a cyber threat. Similarly, one in five workers admitted that they are more likely to make mistakes when working longer hours.


Only 0.6 per cent of those surveyed said when they last received a phishing email, they interacted with it. Despite this, CybSafe’s recent ICO analysis also discovered phishing accounted for a third of cyber-attacks, the most common form of breach within the sector. If less than one per cent of employees falling victim can create 33 per cent of all breaches, a fifth of an organisation lacking confidence in the face of cyber threats is a problem.


“The trends we see in this report are replicated in almost every sector,” commented Oz Alashe MBE, CEO Of CybSafe. “What we see time and time again is a single seemingly trivial incident can destabilise or cripple an entire organisation. This is why we must turn the conversation surrounding human cyber risk on its head. Financial services, as a high-income sector, will only see increasing and more sophisticated attempts to breach security. Organisations need to move away from a tick-box approach to security and treat its people as the first line of defence. Positive security behaviour must become a value, an ethos. The only way to achieve that is to tackle the human element of cyber security humanely.”


Cybersecurity will be the main focus of the following virtual event:

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