Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Banking sector moves to shore up cyber defences

Bag of money
The UK banking industry will be backed by a new cybersecurity testing environment that could protect its institutions from current and future threats.
The network was introduced by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and is dubbed CBEST. The BBA said that the testing environment has been built with support from the security industry.
The BBA said that the system could be used to test a bank's ability to withstand a range of security attacks. Earlier this year, the Bank of England expressed concerns about local institutions and their ability to cope with crime.
Executive director for resolution at the Bank of England, Andrew Gracie said: ""The idea of CBEST is to bring together the best available threat intelligence from government and elsewhere, tailored to the business model and operations of individual firms, to be delivered in live tests, within a controlled testing environment.
"The results should provide a direct readout on a firm's capability to withstand cyber-attacks that on the basis of current intelligence have the most potential, combining probability and impact, to have an adverse impact on financial stability."
This is hugely encouraging progress and something that organisations in other sectors should be emulating according to Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets at LogRhythm.
"Unfortunately we've reached a point where it is a case of when, not if, an organisation suffers a breach, and spending time and money trying to prevent it from happening is verging on useless. While cyber attackers are merrily making their way into our networks, we're far too focussed on updating anti-virus and tweaking firewalls to notice," he said.
"It's now time to accept this as fact and focus on detecting and responding to the threats when they occur. The financial sector is certainly upping the ante in the fight against cybercrime and once the right tools are in place, all businesses will hopefully start following its lead."
According to the security firm McAfee cybercrime costs industry as much as £266bn a year as the threats posed to businesses in all sectors rises all the time as witnesses by a spat of recent hacks on well-known businesses.

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