The rising number of data breaches at financial firms is being met with a severe skills shortage in the IT skills needed to fix the problems, Contractor UK reports.
According to recent figures released by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the number of data security investigations at banks and building societies has nearly doubled in the past two years, rising 183% to reach 791 cases. Perhaps more worrying is that the majority of these inquiries - 585 - were conducted in the last 12 months, showing that it's a fresh area for concern.
The most regularly breached companies in recent months have been Llyods, HSBC, Barclays, RBS and Santander, all of whom have faced multiple examinations by the ICO. Interestingly, the most common perpetrator of the breach was found to be 'human error'.
As the number of data breaches continues to rise, IT contractors are likely to play an increasingly important role in assisting clients within the financial services industry.
A key skill is staying alert to privacy and security issues present in the IT systems they manage or develop. Phil Beckett of Proven Legal Technologies agrees that the best approach to take is to be proactive, which is better than having to act after the event; "As such, firms must keep a close eye on all [their] platforms," he explained.
With more pressure on IT contractors than ever, some could be put off dealing with financial services; but figures show that these numbers have actually grown for the last two consecutive years – and doesn't appear to be showing signs of slowing.
That's because there are numerous and lucrative job opportunities available, with more than a fifth of IT contractors believing financial services will offer more than any other sector in the next 12 months.