Banks warned over IT security flaws

Demand for online services has seen a growth in the number of security vulnerabilities in financial institutions' IT systems

The number of security flaws within financial institutions' IT systems is growing fast, due in part to customer demand for internet services.

A survey of just under 1,000 financial institutions, ranging from high street and City banks to insurance and credit services, claimed seven percent of the organisations tested revealed between 41 and 126 separate vulnerabilities.

A spokeswoman from security company NTA Monitor, which ran the survey using its own penetration testing software, said that 32 percent of the financial organisations tested were in the high-risk category, although this figure was a decline from 61 percent last year.

NTA Monitor technical director Roy Hills blames the move online as one of the primary causes of security weaknesses in the sector.

Financial organisations are one of the front-runners in terms of online activity and are being pushed to open themselves up to the public by offering more online services or by allowing customers to access their personal financial data.

While this extra accessibility is of benefit to many customers, at the same time, it can increase exposure to external attacks, he warned.