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Cyber Crime Is the Biggest Threat to Britain's Banks


What is the biggest threat facing Britain’s banks? The euro crisis? Another economic downturn in the U.K.? Neither, according to Andrew Haldane, director of financial stability for the Bank of England. All five of Britain’s largest banks told him that hacking and other cyber attacks are their biggest concerns.

Chinese cyber attacks on American corporations, research universities and the U.S. military have all garnered big headlines. Not surprisingly, this story isn’t confined to China and the US. Cyber attacks are the newest weapon of war, and corporate and commercial cyber-espionage and sabotage are increasingly common as well.

In fact, firms are having a tough time finding qualified cyber security experts. As the FT reports, demand by British corporations for skilled IT workers to help secure their networks is far outpacing supply.

The [National Audit Office] has warned it could take 20 years to close a skills gap because the number of IT and cyber security professionals has not risen in line with the growth of the internet economy.

While firms such as BAE Systems are focusing on graduates with degrees in IT, they are also actively recruiting students in engineering, math and physics.

In the information economy, cyber security is going to be every bit as important as conventional military preparedness. The United States should be doing everything it can to build up talent in these fields and prepare.

[Dragon image and cyber background courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • ljgude

    Well, those banks could probably pick up Mr. Snowdon and his skills for a song – and he is right there in Hong Kong too where they all have nice big offices. A name change, bit of plastic surgery and Bob’s your uncle.

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