Could a cyber attack cause the next massive financial crisis?

This morning I was tucking into my breakfast reading the news headlines as I normally do, looking over the business section before moving on to the sport. One particular article that piqued my interest was an article on the BBC News website about the big five UK banks.

The main gist of the article is focused on the banks returning to profit, but another part of the article focuses on the risks posed to the UK economy and highlights cyber attack as a possible future cause of a massive financial depression as we last saw in 2008.

But are we really that at risk from a massive financial meltdown caused by a cyber attack? One only needs to look at all the issues banks seem to have with IT systems to see there may be a possibility of this happening.

‘Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.’ – James A. Garfield, President of the United States

Government has been a driving force in encouraging banks and other financial institutions to put in place adequate systems to ensure their resilience. Additionally, guidance has been published by standards bodies in the form of PAS 555 and ISO/IEC 27015, which makes ISO/IEC 27001 easily applicable to financial service organisations.

But are banks ready for this potential threat? They certainly have a responsibility to ensure stability as custodians of the economy.

Only time will tell!