June 22, 2005 09:18 ET

Deloitte: Global Security Survey Finds Internal Information Security Attacks Out-Growing External Security Attacks at World's Largest Financial Institutions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 22, 2005) -

50% of Canadian Respondents Experienced Some Form of Security Breach

Internal information security attacks are out-growing external attacks at the world's largest financial institutions, according to the 2005 Global Security Survey released today by the Financial Services Industry practices of the member firms of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT). Thirty five percent of respondents confirmed encountering attacks from inside their organization within the last 12 months (up from 14% in 2004) compared to 26 percent from external sources (up from 23% in 2004). The third annual Global Security Survey acts as global benchmark for the state of I.T. security in the financial sector and consisted of interviews with senior security officers from the world's top 100 global financial institutions.

Phishing and Pharming (luring people to disclose sensitive information by using bogus emails and websites) were two new additions to the top security threats financial institutions faced in the past year, highlighting the human factor as a new weakness in the security chain. The trend shift from external to internal attacks and tactics which exploit human behaviour vs. technological loopholes can be explained by the improved utilization of I.T. security technologies, mainly by the increased use of anti-virus solutions (98% vs. 87% in 2004), Virtual Private Networks (79% vs. 75%) and content filtering and monitoring (76% vs. 60% in 2004).

"Financial institutions have made great progress in deploying technological solutions to protect themselves from direct external threats, however the rise and increased sophistication of attacks which target customers and internal attacks, indicate that there is a new threat that has to be addressed," says Adel Melek, Global Leader of Deloitte's IT Risk Management & Security Services, Global Financial Services Industry. "Strong customer's authentication, training and increased awareness can play a significant role in narrowing this gap."

However, as survey results show, security training and awareness has yet to top the agenda of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), as less than half (46%) of respondents have training and awareness initiatives scheduled for the next 12 months. Training and awareness was at the bottom of the security initiatives list, far behind regulatory compliance (74%) and reporting and measurement (61%). These findings also align with financial institutions' future investment plans in security, with the most money targeted for security tools (64%) compared to only 15% for employees awareness and training. There are very few financial institutions who have any plans for customer's security awareness.

"In an attempt to minimize the human risk factor, financial institutions have been focusing on enterprise-wide solutions," adds Adel Melek. "With threats such as identity theft, phishing and pharming on the rise, organizations should be implementing identity management solutions, encompassing access, vulnerability, patch and security event management. These solutions should be augmented by security training and awareness if organizations are to minimize the number of human behavioural threats."

Canadian Highlights:

Half of Canadian respondents acknowledged that they have experienced some form of information security breach. On the flip side, with privacy and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance driving regulatory initiatives in Canada, the majority of respondents (78%) indicated they have both the commitment of management and the adequate funding to address these requirements.

Additional Key Findings of the Survey:

- While close to half (48%) of respondents perceive lack of employee awareness as one of their top challenges, security training and awareness measurements implemented in the past 12 months declined from 77% in the previous survey to 65% this year.

- Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents choose to outsource at least one I.T. function, but (27%) do not conduct regular assessments of the security outsourcer's compliance with security requirements.

- While 86% of organizations with a CISO indicated that this function reports directly to the board or to the C suite, only about one-third of the organizations interviewed feel that security has been similarly recognized as a critical area of business.

- Unrealistic timelines and budgets (56%) topped respondents' list of common reasons for security project failures, followed by integration problems due to poor up-front design and architecture (48%) and lack of buy-in from business owners (34%).


The survey, conducted through face-to-face interviews and on-line questionnaires by the Financial Services Industry practices of DTT's member firms, focused on senior information technology executives (Chief Security Officer, Chief Information Officer, Security Management Team etc.) of many of the top 100 global financial services organizations. Questions related to governance, investment, value, risk, use of security technologies, quality of operations, and privacy. The respondents represented public and private companies from all regions of the world including: Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America.

About Deloitte

Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through more than 6,100 people in 47 offices. Deloitte operates in Quebec as Samson Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. The firm is dedicated to helping its clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms, and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu," or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries or affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

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