Financial institutions are facing an increased risk of security breaches this year owing to budgetary constraints and an increased threat of insider misconduct, according to the latest annual Global Security Survey from Deloitte.
The research found that internal and external security breaches at financial institutions worldwide actually fell over the past year, but that employee misconduct is a growing concern.
Some 36 per cent of respondents expressed a greater level of concern about insiders, compared to only 13 per cent who were more concerned about external misconduct.
In addition, 58 per cent said that they felt 'not very' or only 'somewhat' confident in their ability to protect their organisation from internal cyber attacks.
The threat to organisations from their own employees was confirmed by the fact that 86 per cent of respondents indicated that human error is the leading cause of information systems failure.
Although 60 per cent of respondents said that information security budgets have increased, more than half identified budgetary constraints and lack of resources as the main barriers to effective information security.
Lack of resources was cited by a third as the main cause of information security project failure.
Mike Maddison, head of Deloitte's security and privacy practice, warned that financial organisations face a battle on two fronts to protect customer data.
"On one side is the growing sophistication of hackers that exploit new technologies such as social networks, and on the other side is the challenging economic environment and potential redundancies that have created a distracted workforce and a growing number of disgruntled former employees," he said.
"In this economic climate it is vital that firms become extra vigilant in protecting their data, and implement checks and measures to reduce the potential impact of human error."