In the captioned query, we have highlighted two degrees, though there are others applicable to the security domain. These can be information assurance, information systems security, computer engineering, cyber defense, and more. In any one of these, you will find courses that study cybersecurity, computer and network protection controls, and how to implement and maintain security devices, systems. You also learn security tools and technologies used by cybersecurity professionals. You will graduate with the education and training businesses need to combat hacking and internal threats to their data systems.

The following information should help you understand the marriage of computer security and finance.

Financial services are a wide industry, encompassing banks, insurance companies, investment firms, analysts, consultants, and many more. Even though companies in the financial sector have been discussing the necessity of monitoring cybersecurity for quite some time, the threat landscape is constantly evolving. This leads to a more complex cyber ecosystem every day. In addition, not all of the cyberattacks come from hackers.

For example, a 2014 security breach at JPMorgan resulted in the perpetrators stealing the login credentials of a JPMorgan employee. Sensitive customer data, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers, was severely compromised, forcing customers to have to change their details or abandon the bank altogether. Russia was a suspect. However, When people talk about cyber threats, especially in the banking and finance sector, they tend to focus on the external threat, but in reality, insiders are often more likely to be the source of any breach. 

In this example, perhaps the network security failed to detect and alert suspicious behavior. Employees need education as well. However, ultimately, it is a technology issue. Enter the security personnel!

Students contemplating finance as a market for their security degree can be assured that the threat and impact of cyber attacks increases.

Customers of financial services suffered 65% more cyberattacks in 2016 than customers of any other industry, which represented a 29% increase from the previous year, according to Bank Group estimates.

The proliferation of mobile devices supplied another target for cyber attacks. Fraudsters are increasingly targeting mobile devices and business customers. Digitization is also transforming the geography of cybercrime by bringing billions of users in developing markets online, providing criminals with new targets with limited cybersecurity awareness and low defenses. Increased geopolitical tensions between the existing cyber powers could lead to increases in espionage and disruptive attacks on financial institutions. A brazen attack on Bangladesh Bank in 2016 attempted to steal $1 billion in a single stroke.

How has the Financial Sector Responded?

Defenses continue to evolve, but attackers seem to stay ahead. Financial services are the fastest-growing and largest market for cybersecurity products and services. Information security spending by global financial institutions grew 67% from 2013-2016. In the U.S. alone, financial sector cybersecurity spending is expected to total $68 billion cumulatively from 2016-2020. There are signs that this investment is having an impact. According to some surveys, cybersecurity incidents in the financial sector have remained relatively constant over the last three years, but the types of incidents have evolved. (Swift Institute Oct. 2017)

Degree Considerations

In this partnership of finance and security, a Bachelor of Science in Information Security and Risk Management offers a diverse curriculum. Core courses may include:

  • Computer Forensics
  • Cybercrime, Law, and Ethics
  • Data Networks
  • Database Management Systems
  • Introduction to Information Security
  • Security Assessment and Risk Management

Unfortunately, it is rare to find business or finance classes on the curriculum of a security-related degree at the undergraduate level. It is possible to find business courses. An online program Cyber Forensics/Information Security offers a class in Legal and Ethical Environments of Business. However, the majority of the coursework is in IT, network forensics, security policies, and related topics.

The combination of business and security is available in graduate programs. A College of Business offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Two of the courses include Business Analytics and Business and Society.

A Master of Business Administration with a Cybersecurity concentration brings finance and security issues to bring them closer. Core courses are in accounting, managerial finance, global strategy, and business analytics, for examples. The cybersecurity concentration delves into data protection, operational cybersecurity management, network security, and compliance/legal issues.


The security degree is of greater importance than scouring schools to find those that insert a few business or finance courses. The nuances of the finance sector can be learned through self-study and/or on-the-job. Essentially, the problem revolves around advanced technologies to thwart intrusion. Security teams need systems that are more advanced. Ones that can learn to recognize patterns in data and identify subtle changes in attack code designed to evade traditional monitoring systems.

A final reason for financial institutions and computer-related security forming a life-long partnership comes from an Accenture report of 2017:

Only 44% of banking respondents have confidence in their cybersecurity capabilities.

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