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[] Finance houses struggling against hackers,

Finance houses struggling against hackers
By John Leyden (john -
 leyden -!
- theregister -
 co -
Published Thursday 20th May 2004 10:35 GMT

Financial institutions are losing the war against hackers, according to a 
new survey out this week. The majority of finance houses (83 per cent) 
quizzed by management consultant Deloitte acknowledged that their systems 
had been compromised in the past year, compared to only 39 per cent in 
2002. Many of the resulting security breaches have resulted in financial 
loss, according to Deloitte's 2004 Global Security Survey 

The survey provides a global benchmark for the state of security in the 
financial sector. Deloitte compiled its data through interviews with 
senior security officers from the world's top 100 global financial 

"Financial institutions, particularly security officers, are facing 
greater challenges than ever," said Adel Melek, global leader of 
Deloitte's IT Risk Management & Security Services, Global Financial 
Services Industry group. "They are fighting an on-going battle to overcome 
evolving security threats and to comply with an increasingly stringent 
regulatory environment but, at the same time, resources have stagnated."

Deloitte's study found that identity management and vulnerability 
management are the two most common technologies that financial services 
are piloting or intend to deploy over the coming 18 months. Even with 
security attacks on the rise, the largest number of respondents (25 per 
cent) to the survey reported flat security budget growth. Deloitte omits 
to point out this means that three-quarters of banks and insurance firms 
are spending more on security, so it isn't all bad.
AV defences not up to scratch

The survey unearthed evidence that companies are sliding backwards in 
defending against computer viruses and worms, the number one computer 
security menace. While more than 70 per cent of respondents perceived 
viruses and worms as the greatest threat to their systems over the next 12 
months, only 87 per cent of respondents had fully deployed anti-virus 
measures. This result is down from 96 per cent in 2003. Rather than 
letting existing AV licences expire this is likely a sign that 
organisation realise that existing defences need to be supplemented with 
extra protection that isn't yet in place.
Management buy-in

Only one third (32 per cent) of respondents felt that security 
technologies acquired by their organizations were not being utilized 
effectively. Only a minority (26 per cent) felt that their strategic and 
security technology initiatives were well aligned.

On the upside, financial institutions showed marked improvement in 
complying with regulations, with two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents 
running a program for managing privacy (compared to 56 per cent last 
year). In addition, the majority (69 per cent) felt that senior management 
is committed to security projects needed to address regulatory 
requirements. ?
Related stories

Hackers cost billions 
Blaster beats up British business 
Human error blamed for most security breaches 
Related links

Deloitte's 2004 Global Security Survey (
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