DUBAI, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- With the global rise of hacker attacks, banks are keeping up with the latest technologies to secure their own and customers' assets, experts said here at an ongoing banking transaction fair.
Cyber security at global financial institutions is a central topic at this year's Sibos, a four-day exhibition held for the first time in the Middle East.
Nigel Hayward, chief technology officer for international treasury services at U.S. bank J.P. Morgan, said his bank was increasing its spending on IT security by more than 10 percent next year. "And what I hear from our industry peers, costs on fighting hacker attacks are mushrooming at all financial service providers."
According to a study released on June 25 by Russian anti-virus software producer Kaspersky and research firm B2B International, 649,000 U.S. dollars is the average cost at large companies in the wake of a cyber attack rise.
Earlier in the year, a series of cyber attacks knocked down the websites of major U.S. lenders, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America. "The global cyber warfare is going to escalate in 2013," said Kaspersky founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky back in October 2012 in Dubai.
Most IT security experts at the Sibos, which is organized by Belgium-based global transactions service provider SWIFT and attended by 7,300 delegates, agreed that cyber security shall not be considered as a cost center but as an investment into a bank's financial soundness and reputation.
In June, Andrew Haldane, Bank of England's director for financial stability said British banks fear cyber attacks more than the repercussion of the ongoing euro zone debt crises.
Meanwhile, a flash survey at the Sibos summit revealed that over 30 percent of bank technology experts fear internal attacks such as data stealing by employees or business partners. "Insiders are much more aware of the weak points of an organization, internal threats will always be there," said Sankar Aiyar, chief technology officer at CLS group, a global settlement provider to foreign exchange traders.
Internal threats have to be addressed through clear procedures and encryption codes and upholding these standards also add to IT security costs, said J.P. Morgan's Hayward.