Financial institutions are paying too much attention to external security threats, leaving them more vulnerable to internal attacks, according to a new survey.
According to the poll of senior city IT staff at a security seminar in London last month, whilst financial institutions are generally very well protected at the perimeter, they often ignore the threat of attack from within.
Clive McCafferty, managing director at security company Centurycom commented: "Financial organisations are very good at constructing barriers to keep the outside world away, but their concentration on external hackers often makes them neglect possible threats from within the company."
He added: "Many companies know they are doing this, but they are too preoccupied with Y2K or other projects that will provide a return."
McCafferty said that previous research has shown that attacks from within a corporation are far more common that those from outside corporate barricades.
Staff who took part in the survey said that a change in business reporting structures is necessary to reduce the risk of internal threats.
Most said they find that cost justification from business units for IT systems leads to tactical solutions being deployed, so companies often end up with a number of different, distributed point systems that are unable to interact.
This makes security management difficult and increases the risk of internal fraud, espionage and sabotage, as companies are unable to monitor and control use of systems centrally.
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