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Banks to simulate a cyber attack to test preparedness - comment from Arbor Networks

October 2013 by Arbor Networks

In light of the news that next month UK banks will launch an extensive cyber threat exercise to test the preparedness of the financial system to survive a large cyber-attack, please find below comment from Darren Anstee, Solutions Architect Team Manager at Arbor Networks.

“This initiative will help organisations to identify any weaknesses in their defences and operational procedures, and will help them to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared should a real attack arise. Running regular exercises to evaluate incident response is hugely important. Any organisation can be a target for a cyber-attack, but banks are a particular target due to the very nature of their business and the key part they play in the economy.

Banks are targeted frequently, and with increasingly sophisticated multi-tool, multi-vector attacks; whether the attacks are motivated ideologically or for financial gain the onus is on the financial industry to protect the availability and integrity of their systems – and they should be testing their processes frequently, on a per organisation basis, to ensure this. One of the things which Operation Ababil has taught us though is that in some cases vulnerabilities are only uncovered when multiple organisations are targeted concurrently, and these larger exercises have a key part to play in identifying potential bottlenecks in networks and services.

It’s an ever-changing battlefield and our defences must evolve continuously. Co-operation and information sharing are key as they allow us to best prepare based on other’s experience. Exercises such as this should facilitate improved inter-organisation communication and information flow, and that can only be a good thing.”

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