By : Jack Dougal
May 01, 2018 12:00 AM
With cyber attacks posing an increasingly dangerous threat to financial services organizations and their customers, steps are being taken in Canada to improve awareness of the risks and protect against them.
TD Bank will be a founding corporate member and the first Canadian bank to join the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity. Based at the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Fredericton campus, this new body will focus on research and collaboration in the cyber technology space.
Cybersecurity graduate students will work directly with tech teams from the bank on the development and operational testing of new threat assessment tools and algorithms.
Executive vice-president and chief information officer Jeff Henderson said this project is part of the company’s mission to create a “digital bank for the modern customer”.
He added: “As the digital landscape evolves, we will continue to invest in technology partnerships and talent so that we can deliver innovative experiences that our customers can trust and rely on.”
Dr Ali Ghorbani, director of the institute and Canada research chair in cybersecurity at UNB, said cyber threats have “quickly moved to the top” of the list of security issues companies monitor.
“Our teams are developing next-generation technology solutions in partnership with leading industry players like TD, deepening defenses against emerging cyber threats not just in Canada but around the world,” he commented.
Meanwhile, at the recent SWIFT Business Forum in Toronto, cybersecurity was one of the main recurring themes of discussion between financial services professionals, according to Finextra.
Among the attendees was Colin McKinty, cyber lead for the Americas at BAE Systems, who discussed the evolving risk landscape and highlighted a shift from opportunistic attacks to “more rigorous threats”.
Pat Antonacci, global head of the customer security program at SWIFT, emphasized the importance of the “people factor” in modern cybersecurity. Human error can raise the risk of cyber attacks, but it’s also vital for organizations to have the right people with the appropriate skills in their workforce.