Firms should band together to stop hackers extracting money to fund more illegal activities, KPMG partner Stephen Bonner said at the Building Societies Association Conference in Harrogate today.
Bonner said: “Everybody loses when attackers gain money as they share skills but we can too by joining together with other financial institutions that have already been through these attacks.
“Use the knowledge from the industry. When your data is lost it can be used by attackers to open accounts and defraud other institutions.
“Even the most selfish institutions have a common interest in reducing these threats. Alone we are victims, together we can reduce the losses.”
Bonner warned against “hacktavists” who target financial organisations which fund controversial groups, such as animal testing companies.
He also revealed that most workers steal confidential information when leaving their jobs.
Bonner added: “I’m not sure things are getting worse, we’re working out what’s happening.
“The Bank of England said this is a new emerging risk. It is not a new emerging risk. This has been a challenge for many years.
“If this is only turning up your risk agenda now you’ve missed something.”
He ended the presentation by playing down the power of cyber threats. He said: “The sky is not falling, but there are things you can do to prepare yourself for what’s coming.
“These systems work. Losses are lower than with physical technologies.”