Lessons in security strategy for financial technology leaders

Financial technology summit will hear of the rising importance of enhanced virus protection in the increasingly prominent Middle East market.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  May 24, 2005

Senior executives from Trend Micro Middle East are addressing some of the region’s most senior IT decision-makers at the upcoming Financial Technology Summit to be held in Dubai. Developed by the World Development Forum, the event – which brings together leading technologists from across the financial services industry – aims to provide insight into the role that technology plays in providing a strategic pathway to growth and development for banks, insurance companies, and other financial services organisations. During the summit, Trend Micro aims to demonstrate the importance of positioning security at the heart of technology policies within financial services companies. “Successful banking and finance organisations are built upon trust and customer confidence – people need to know that their money is secure,” says Justin Doo, managing director for Trend Micro Middle East and Africa. In today’s climate, where virus designers are looking to develop harmful software for profit and an increasing number of viruses are being aimed at specific organisations, financial institutions are in the front line of the virus war. In recent years, there has been rising awareness among the customers of bank and financial services companies about the range of internet threats targeting their assets, ranging from ‘phishing’ attacks designed to steal personal data, such as credit card and bank account details, through to trojan viruses. However, analysts believe that the new generation of virus-developers is deliberately targeting organisations, rather than individuals, and that financial organisations are among the most attractive potential victims. Many everyday banking activities have moved online in recent years, increasing the level of vulnerability and the number of areas exposed to risk. For example, the new generation of ATMs is based on the Windows XP operating system, a popular target for hackers and virus developers. Trend Micro, the company has developed a range of solutions designed to protect banks from network worm and hack attacks. However, the aim of the presentation is to stress that companies need more than security products to defend themselves – they need to develop a comprehensive security policy, supported by organisation-wide understanding of the rules. “Network security needs to address both the technological and human sides of protecting an enterprise, and financial services organisations need to be constantly vigilant in ensuring that security strategy is being implemented and acted upon across the board,” adds Doo. “By addressing these issues, the FT Summit is helping raise the level of discussion around IT security in the Middle East.”

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