90 percent of financial services IT security pros fear security breaches

Piggy bank theft

A new survey of IT security professionals working in the financial services sector reveals that 90 percent feel vulnerable to security breaches and 44 percent have actually experienced one -- 19 percent in the last year.

These findings come from enterprise data protection specialist Vormetric which, in conjunction with 451 Research, has issued a financial services edition of its 2016 Data Threat Report.

Meeting compliance requirements was named as the top IT security spending priority at 56 percent, but preventing data breaches at 50 percent and best practices, also at 50 percent, were close followers. The main barriers to adoption of better data security were cited as complexity at 68 percent, and lack of staff at 35 percent.

Despite 59 percent of respondents planning to use big data, only 33 percent regard these implementations as presenting a top three risk for loss of sensitive information.

"Financial services organizations continue to feel the heat from cyber attackers", says Tina Stewart, vice president of marketing for Vormetric. "They are investing to help solve the problem, but surprisingly, are failing to connect the dots about the best solutions to use. With the world's financial data in their custody, the most effective way to protect this information, once networks and systems are penetrated, is to enhance data protection investments".

Good news is that the threats are being taken seriously, with 70 percent saying they're increasing spending to offset threats to data and 48 percent increasing spending on data-at-rest defenses this year. Many are planning to implement "newer" security tools that are more effective at protecting data even when other defenses have been compromised. These include tokenization (42 percent), application encryption (33 percent), Security Event and Information Management (SIEM) systems (29 percent) and privileged user access management (29 percent).

The full report is available to download from the Vormetric website.

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