Barclays deals with hackers on a daily basis, expert says

The boss of Barclays cyber security operations has said that fighting cyber-crime is a daily occurrence for the bank, as criminals continually try to infiltrate its IT systems.

Speaking to City AM recently, former Europol cybercrime centre head of operations Paul Gillen said that there are “substantial” number of attacks on Barclays each day, although each attempt differs in aggression and form, with malicious emails being the most common problem.

The summer of 2018 saw Barclays put a programme in place across Britain to help UK organisations take on fraud and cyber-crime, following publication of YouGov research showing that nearly 50% of small- and medium-sized companies had been lined up for attack by hackers. The study pinpointed £35,000 as the average cost shouldered by victim businesses due to fraudulent activity.

Addressing an audience at a Cyber Security Challenge UK conference at Barclays HQ in the City, Gillen said:

“We have gone for a holistic approach [to cyber security], to make sure that all the systems of the bank are working properly”.
“We play an instrumental role in improving the security of the supply chain…and other people benefit from that,” he said. “We do see what we do as a service,” he added.

Cyber security challenge chief executive Colin Lobbley noted the “fairly similar approach” being taken by top tier banks, before acknowledging the struggle of mid-tier and smaller financial institutions to cover the costs of improved security infrastructures.

In early November, the Bank of England examined the capacity of the financial industry to cope with a large-scale cyber-attack as the likelihood of such a situation continues to grow.

In a statement, the Bank of England said:

“This exercise forms a vital part of the sector wide biennial process that seeks to ensure the industry is prepared for – and can respond effectively to – any major disruption stemming from a cyber incident, protecting the financial system on which the public relies,” the Bank of England said.

“The exercise will help authorities and firms identify improvements to our collective response arrangements, improving the resilience of the sector as a whole.”

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