Bank of England encourages increase of cyber-attack protection

After bank governor Mark Carney warned that cyber-attacks were a key risk to the financial sector, questionnaires were sent along to the UK's largest firms asking about their defences against online threats.

Following the publication in July of the Bank's Financial Stability Report, he said the “adaptive nature of the threat means that ways of managing the risk must continually evolve”.

The Bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) also suggested that online security tests should be extended out to cover all crucial firms in the financial sector.

Insurers are being asked to specify their protection level and also provide information on the cyber-insurance that they underwrite and the exposure to claims from policyholders that have undergone losses from online attacks.

A study conducted by PwC's Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation revealed that insurance firms fear they are starting to become prime targets for online crime due to high levels of personal data that they hold and process in cloud-based storage systems.