Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of financial services firms do not have complete confidence that they can remain secure in the event of an IT collapse, a survey has found.
Commissioned by Fujitsu, it found that only one-third (35 per cent) of the 176 organisations surveyed said they were "very confident" that security could be maintained in the event of an outage.
The companies admitted that, as well as security, in-branch and over-the-phone services would also be affected by an IT outage, as would customer account access. About one-third of respondents said that they were uncertain whether these services would remain operational if they experienced an IT failure.
Anne MacRae, head of financial services at Fujitsu UK, said that it was "troubling to see the low confidence from financial services companies around their ability to withstand IT failures".
"This is an issue that we've seen affect several organisations in recent months and which has significantly disrupted business continuity. Going forward, effective steps must be taken to ensure that risk is controlled," she added.
The survey also found that more than half (52 per cent) of IT leaders admitted that security is a significant barrier to deploying a successful mobile banking strategy. Among companies with a turnover of less than £100m, only 46 per cent have a mobile strategy in place.
Cloud adoption is nevertheless growing in financial services firms - with 16 per cent implementing cloud architectures in their organisation in 2014, compared to just nine per cent in 2012.
However, nearly half (45 per cent) of all the organisations surveyed are yet to use the cloud in any way - and just under half of those said that it presents too many security concerns. One-fifth of companies said that the cloud holds no value for their business.
MacRae suggested that financial services firms should embrace the cloud and mobile in order to "capitalise on their potential".
"By getting ahead of the curve and enabling business models fit for changing economic and consumer pressures, financial services organisation will not only survive, but thrive," she said.
The survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research and aimed to find out what the top priorities were for 176 IT decision-makers in retail and investment banks and insurance companies.
Respondents included CIOs, IT directors, heads of IT and CTOs.