BoE Tests Cyber Defences With Big US Banks

Nov 02, 2015

The Bank of England, in partnership with some of the largest US banks, is set to simulate a major cyberattack in order to test the security protocols being employed by the finance industry.

The simulation has been dubbed “Operation Resilient Shield” and will provide a more robust examination of the sector’s defences than the recently implemented Waking Shark tests.

Read more: Banks should use the dark web to learn of potential threats

The transatlantic operation was announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron back in January, after visiting President Barack Obama. It will be co-ordinated by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in both countries and will look to test communication between banks and governments.

Speaking at the time of the announcement, both the US and UK government reiterated the importance of international co-operation in order to deal with cyberthreats. It is hoped that Operation Resilient Shield will “strengthen threat information sharing and intelligence co-operation on cyber issues, and support new educational exchanges” between the two countries.

A number of high-profile cyberattacks have hit the headlines in recent weeks, serving as a reminder that the threat facing businesses and consumers is ever-present. Both TalkTalk and Vodafone have had to inform customers that their accounts have been compromised, with the former announcing that 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes had been stolen.

Read more: London teenager arrested over TalkTalk cyber attack

More than most other industries, the financial sector must ensure that its security protocols are frequently tested and updated in order to counter the threat posed by cyberattackers. The sensitive information stored by banks and similar institutions means that even a minor security breach could have devastating consequences for businesses and individuals. As well as the threat posed by individuals hackers and collectives, state-led attacks by nations like China and Russia are also now viewed as a serious risk to the UK and US economies.

Image Credit: Number 10

Author: Barclay Ballard
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