We keep reading about it. Another story about a security breach, about a big company being hacked, about personal details stolen or sold and privacy intruded. That’s all we’re hearing on the news today and sorry to go on about it, but it is quickly becoming one of the greatest risks faced by both big and small companies today.
These threats apply especially to financial institutions, where not only are reputations at stake but also where there is a lot of money to be lost. The FSA has been on the case for a while, but in a recent publication entitled “Financial Crime: A guide for firms”, an entire chapter is devoted to the issues surrounding data security simply to make firms more aware of what is good practice and what isn’t. It might seem surprising that companies aren’t better informed considering the recent onslaught of security breaches in the news, but there is more to think about than one might imagine making it difficult, especially for larger companies, to know where they stand.
What’s in this chapter by the FSA? Everything from creating a security strategy across all areas of the business to creating a figurehead who will oversee the implementation of security plans. The chapter also includes guidelines for staff access to information which has become an increasing concern to businesses. It suggests daily monitoring to ensure that staff have a genuine reason for access while also making employees aware of the risks and teaching them ways to prevent them.
Although the chapter does not actually introduce any new regulations, it is a reminder of the care businesses must now take. The FSA has given out hefty fines to several large financial institutions for poor security efforts in the last few years. This combined with the threat of mass media coverage makes taking steps to recognise and cover the risks more important than ever.