A contract is what lets you sue someone over a private transaction. That's what it does, that's all it does. If for whatever reason you're not willing to bring a contract dispute to court, then your contract doesn't do anything and you wasted your time writing it. Contract = right to sue for breach of contract.
In order to sue someone, you need to be able to describe what damages have been done to you. The goal of a lawsuit is for the responsible party to 'make you whole,' i.e. pay you back an amount equal to the damages done to you.
In a contract dispute, the 'damages' of breaking the contract is equal to the 'consideration' of fulfilling the contract. In other words, the promised consideration is the actual thing that you can sue over.
If there is no consideration, then there are no potential damages, and there is no potential lawsuit. And since the only point of a contract is to enable a lawsuit, a contract that doesn't do that isn't a contract.
This is categorically incorrect.
Damages for breach of contract are supposed to put you back in the position you'd have been in had the contract been performed. It's not related to the value of the consideration.
Consideration is one of the things needed to make a contract binding in English law (along with offer & acceptance, and "intention to create legal relations").
Jurists still debate the rationale for consideration, but the best answer I've found is that contract in English law is seen as an exchange or a “bargain”. There is no gratuitous contract, donations are not contractual right.
By comparison, a contract under French law is based on "consent of the parties" and the theory of individual autonomy. There's no requirement for consideration.
In a "mutual NDA", consideration is easy to find; each party agrees not to disclose confidential information disclosed by the counterparty.
Another way to make an agreement binding without consideration is to sign it as a deed.
I don't think mutual NDAs are typical. Typically, you sign an NDA prior to receiving information. So the consideration for signing the NDA is receiving the information that you agreed to not disclose. If you already have that information, then that's no longer valid consideration.
In this case, the reporter already knew the security vulnerability, so that knowledge could not be considered consideration. The bank would have needed to offer something else.
If I say, "I'm going to give you some apples in six months, after the harvest" and then there's a blight and I don't actually end up with any apples, society (at least in America) decided that I should be able to just say, "Oops, sorry, I'm not going to be able to give you those apples after all" and be done with it.
On the other hand, if I say, "I am going to sell you some apples in six months, in return for $100", American society collectively decided that I'm on the hook to get you those apples, regardless of whatever difficulties should ensue.
If a contract doesn't outline consideration, and the jurisdiction requires consideration, then the lawyer writing the contract was not very good at their job...
Also, you have to ask why someone chose to sign a one-sided contract. Was it signed under duress? The court shouldn’t enforce that. Was it a gift? The court would rather not get involved with enforcing every casual promise!
You, sir, have unfortunately failed that test.