The UK government has been urged to do more to support the country's financial services sector when it comes to cyber security and data protection in order to deal with greater threats facing the sector.
It comes after Tesco Bank fell victim to a hacking attack that resulted in around £2.5 million being stolen from the accounts of some 9,000 customers late last year.
While the incident is still under investigation, it highlights some of the risks these companies face in today's environment. With cyber criminals placing a high value on consumer financial data, hacking is just one of the threats these companies need to counter.
Other issues include social engineering and phishing scams that seek to collect personal data, as well as visual hacking, where information can be read off a digital display screen by unauthorised personnel.
Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie called for intelligence agencies to play a greater role in helping protect the UK's financial institutions from such attacks, saying it is "essential" that these organisations provide regulators with the technical and practical support they need to help protect the financial sector, Reuters reports.
"This means making sure that financial cyber crime has a high priority, and is not subordinate to other work," he said. "Failure to do so would inhibit the ability of financial institutions to maintain an adequate level of protection for millions of consumers."
In a letter to the head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Mr Tyrie said the attack on Tesco Bank is just one of the latest examples of criminals exploiting vulnerabilities in UK banks' defences.
He said that a combination of human error, deliberate attacks and a reliance on outdated legacy systems have led to "unacceptable interruptions" to banking services, as well as undermining public confidence in the sector as a whole.
In addition, one in 20 revealed they use cloud services even though their employer has explicitly restricted their use. Mr Welfare has therefore urged organisations to take steps to get to grips with this problem, such as ensure that all company data is encrypted before employees are able to upload it to the cloud.
He added that stringent security policies and employee education programmes need to be put in place, so the potential dangers of cloud-based services are adequately conveyed to members of staff. “Businesses must catch up with the employee cloud revolution or risk potentially catastrophic data loss,” he stated.