UK Financial Sector turns its Focus towards Cyber Security and Intelligence

The financial sector in UK is looking to attain new weapons for its war against cybercrime. Recently, we came across the news of a Russian gang amassing 1.2 billion username and passwords. To avoid such incidents, London’s financial district is aiming to become a hub for cyber security technologies. A venture capital fund has already been launched focused highly on this area. Even European regulators are imposing new policies for financial institutions by giving recommendations on separate budgeting for putting up cyber defences.

There is a sudden rise in demand for cyber security experts among the banks including big names like JP Morgan and Citigroup. Banks are hiring experts who can monitor and research cyber threats and conduct deep technical analysis of cyber-attack tools, tactics and procedures. Banks earlier availed services of specialized consultancy firms but are into direct hiring now.

Canary Wharf, a major business district in London, is taking initiatives by launching accelerator programs for start-ups in the sector. Pivotal Innovations, a firm based in the district, is designing and implementing projects for such accelerator programs.

Eric Van der Kleij, head of Level39 and managing director of Pivotal Innovations, said: Cyber security is a core theme for the fintech industry, and some of Level39’s most successful members are in cyber or security. As the first phase of our cyber activity, Canary Wharf Group and Pivotal Innovations are creating a new set of relevant innovation programs, which will be launched in the very near future.

Pivotal Innovations is hiring cyber security experts to help the cause. Even the well-known consultancy firm Delloite is hiring Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysts to join its Cyber Intelligence Center.

The demand for such initiatives is being driven by an increase in threats and heightened awareness among senior management at banks. Almost a third of respondents to the latest global information security survey from EY reported at least 5% increase in the number of security incidents related to their technology infrastructures. In the same survey published last October, 43% of respondents—which included those from within the banking sector—said their information security budgets were on the rise but a similar percentage pointed to a lack of available expertise.