Daily Cyber Attacks On Barclays

Head of Barclays’ Cyber Security Operations Paul Gillen has revealed that the bank receives a substantial number of cyber attacks every day.

Gillen, who is the former Head of Operations at the Europol European Cybercrime Centre, made the revelation at the 2018 Cyber Security Challenge UK, won by a 19 year old.

Earlier in the year, Barclays launched a campaign to help businesses address the growing threat of cyber crime. As high profile companies succumb to data breaches on a regular basis, banks are keen to help customers take steps to avoid risk as well as increasing their own resilience and ability to recover.

Gillen told Reuters Plus, ‘If you’re thinking about cyber security after you’ve had a breach, you’re already in trouble; you’re panicking and in a frenzy, so you’re not able to take advice in, and it’s not the time to start. Being threat-centric is very important. Identifying where you do business, what sector you’re in and what the threat to your sector is beforehand will stand you in good stead.’

He acknowledges that people have woken up to the problem, but says that their biggest problem is not knowing what to do. Businesses need to understand the extent of their IT estate, find out where they are most vulnerable and know what part of their estate is most valuable to them. This is where they need to concentrate their efforts to withstand attack.

Gillen explained the challenge to the audience, ‘We play an instrumental role in improving the security of the supply chain. We see what we do as a service.’

The Bank of England are working with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre to test the recoverability of banks.

If an attack on a major bank hits home, the ripple effect could be massive, with everything from interbank lending to an individual’s ability to deal with day to day expenditure affected.

In 2019, the Bank of England will be piloting a stress test of cyber resilience in banks and other financial companies. Cyber security benchmarks will need to be met, with companies showing how quickly they could recover from a cyber attack.

Legal Firms who do not meet the required standard will need to develop remedial action plans. 

With business cyber attacks reported to have increased by 63% in 2017, now is the time to look closely at vulnerabilities and implement defensive systems along with robust recovery plans.