City firms must take a lead on e-crime, says lord mayor


City firms must take a lead on e-crime, says lord mayor

John Riley

City financial institutions must take a global lead in combating cybercrime, lord mayor of London David Brewer has urged.

Speaking at a joint City of London/Internet Society event last month, Brewer called for a radical approach to IT security. "We are already seeing evidence of failure to grasp the nettle," he said.

"Although the internet is the key to the future success of the City and the global financial market, we speak of it as if it were regulated, structured and planned, which it is not."

The baseline for the internet is threefold, he said: security, stability and availability.

"Cybercrime is more lucrative and less risky for criminals than drugs trafficking," said Brewer. "Whether in the public or private sectors, there is an impact on the bottom line. Urgent action is needed to protect individuals and organisations.

"The time has come to consider it in the round, and there is no better place to start than in London, the world's leading financial centre," he said, highlighting London's capability of taking over all of New York's trading on 9/11 in just half an hour.

At the event, Mark Reece, trading systems architect at the London Stock Exchange said that, faced with emerging major cybersecurity threats, firms need a new approach.

"IT security needs to be thought of as business security. Security is not just a technology arms race any more - well established business models are driving criminal activity. Security defences should account for the business model of the attack," he said.

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