The regulator said that while some larger firms, especially in the banking sector have implemented appropriate protection, smaller firms and other sectors are less prepared.
The FSA’s warning came just days after various security breaches were revealed in online bank Cahoot, as well as Morgan Stanley, although the FSA’s release was not related to those particular incidences.
Philip Robinson, financial crime sector leader at the FSA, said that, in the fight against fraud, firms will have to run to stand still if they are to protect their assets and their customers.
‘Hackers and fraudsters are refining and improving their techniques as we speak. Having been the target of criminals in recent times, via the internet and other technologies, the major banks tend to have strong defences.
‘But there is no room for complacency and criminals will seek to exploit vulnerable points where they can find them, including in other sectors or smaller firms,’ he said.
The FSA’s call was made in Countering financial crime risks in information security, which highlighted the need for senior management to take on responsibility for information security.
‘Firms should follow a preventative approach rather than reacting to a situation once it has happened, which can be costly and damaging to reputation,’ said Robinson. ‘Consumers must also take steps to prevent attacks from fraudsters, by taking care when disclosing their personal details or following the security tips offered.’
The report, which reviewed 18 firms, is part of the FSA’s approach to fighting fraud. Other threats it identified included recruitment, instant messaging and handheld computers.
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