Cyber attacks on the rise globally
A Citibank sign on bank branch in midtown Manhattan in New York REUTERS

Just as the hacking collectives LulzSec and Anonymous begin Operation Anti-Security against the world's governments and banks, new E.U. laws are set to force banks to warn customers when their personal information has been compromised.

Under current E.U. law most banks and firms are not legally obliged to alert customers about internet security breaches.

A speech made by Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission to the British Bankers' Association has revealed that this may all soon change.

In the speech Reding warned bankers that new laws would make them legally obliged to alert customers over any and all cyber security breaches their firm suffers.

"I intend to introduce a mandatory requirement to notify data security breaches," commented Ms Reding.

Later adding, "I understand that some in the banking sector are concerned that a mandatory notification requirement would be an additional administrative burden. However, I do believe that an obligation to notify incidents of serious data security breach is entirely proportionate and would enhance consumers' confidence in data security and oversight mechanisms."

Since then a spokesman for the British Bankers' Association commented, "the UK's banks follow the highest standards of customer protection in their data management", going on to suggest that it was "unlikely that such a step [the new laws] would affect the current practices of the UK's banks".

The European Commission is expected to to make its formal proposals to implement the new laws later this year.