Brian Sims
Editor

Barclays attains inaugural BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking

WITH FRAUD and cyber crime accounting for almost half of all offences in England and Wales according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, data security has never been more important. To its great credit, Barclays has just become the first bank to receive the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking in the financial sector.

As cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated methods to target individuals and businesses alike, trust and confidence in organisations – and notably so financial institutions – is absolutely essential. The banking industry has been at the forefront of digitisation and offers a wide range of online services that improve accessibility for customers.

The industry has also invested heavily in security and continues to lead the way in keeping its customers safe online through education and awareness. The work that Barclays has been doing in this area through its network of Digital Eagles and its Digital Wings platform is one such example that highlights the effort some banks are making to improve security awareness among their customers.

One of the most effective ways of demonstrating the quality of work banks have transacted in this area is by achieving a recognised mark of trust. Although the regulatory and legislative framework around cyber security is still very much in its infancy, there are a number of schemes that banks may wish to consider. One of them is the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking (itself currently the only assurance scheme for online banking recognised by the Police Digital Security Centre).

David Mudd, global digital and connected product certification director at the British Standards Institution, said: “The BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking affords users confidence that the banking application has the appropriate security controls in place. The Kitemark builds on ISO/IEC 27001, the Information Security Management Systems standard, and verifies that the relevant digital banking application has been designed, developed and supported in line with industry Best Practice.”

Mudd went on to state: “By achieving the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking, Barclays is demonstrating excellence in the field of cyber security and is making the security of its customers’ accounts and data a top priority.”

Banking sector ‘first’

Barclays is the first bank to achieve the BSI Kitemark in this arena. This shows just how important the business considers the security of its customers to be and the value that the bank places on their personal data.

The police service is continually working with financial institutions to improve their security, reduce their vulnerability to cyber crime and fraud and keep their customers safe. Barclays should be proud to be the first bank to have achieved the BSI’s Kitemark for secure digital banking which rigorously and independently tests websites and applications to make sure they have the security controls in place for the financial and personal information they’re handling on a daily basis.

Jim Winters, head of fraud at Barclays, explained: “We have no greater priority than keeping our customers’ funds and personal data safe so we’re very proud to be the first bank to achieve the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking. As more and more of us bank digitally, it’s crucial that the public can trust their online and mobile banking apps. Having this certification helps give customers the necessary peace of mind that their accounts are safe.”

Winters continued: “We hope that Barclays’ success will encourage other financial institutions to follow suit. Aspiring towards the achievement of internationally recognised standards helps to improve cyber security, gives confidence to customers and supports the Government’s clear ambition to make the UK one of the safest places to do business online.”

Strong commitment

Assistant Commissioner Angela McClaren, cyber lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, stated: “I’m delighted to see that Barclays has become the first bank to achieve the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking. This clearly shows a strong commitment to its customers’ security and data. While Barclays Bank is the first to attain this important milestone in online banking security, I know other financial sector institutions are already looking to follow suit.”

*Further information on the BSI Kitemark for secure digital banking is available on the BSI’s website

**To find out more about the work Barclays is doing in this area, or on cyber security more generally, visit the Police Digital Security Centre’s website at https://www.policedsc.com/become-a-partner

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