Chris Fedde, president and chief operating officer at security firm SafeNet, said that financial institutions need to be extremely careful with customers' personal and financial information when combining huge, and often wholly disparate, IT systems.
IT departments will need to bring together a huge amount of information over the coming months as large banks and other financial firms collapse or merge with other institutions.
Some security experts have already highlighted the increased risk of phishing attacks as hackers play off the genuine customer queries that may result from the consolidation.
Fedde warned that, because most organisations of this size have customised and varied infrastructures, combining these systems and making them interoperable is likely to be a major challenge.
Furthermore, the people involved need to ensure that information is not placed at risk while being moved around.
On a positive note, Fedde pointed out that this could be a great opportunity for these conjoined businesses to completely reassess their IT security systems and build a new, more coherent and stronger security platform, rather than the piecemeal systems currently in place in the majority of enterprises.
However, he added that justifying this as a necessary and not discretionary expense to an already nervous board would be a difficult task.
Despite these warnings, Fedde concluded that people need not be concerned with the security of card payments and inter-bank transfers as these are handled by a system that is unaffected by the various transitions taking place.
Banking crisis putting data at risk
By Ian Williams on Oct 9, 2008 7:32AM