CBEST, a new framework, will identify threats to banks and run bespoke tests to guard against security breaches
The Bank of England has stepped up defences against cyber crime by introducing new measures to help banks detect and counter hacking.
Andrew Gracie, the Bank’s executive director for resolution, on Tuesday unveiled CBEST, a framework that brings together intelligence from Government and security companies to assess risks to the financial system.
CBEST will then use bespoke tests to see whether banks’ security systems are vulnerable. Mr Gracie said that unlike current cyber threat systems, it would replicate threats that are already being used by criminals.
Concerns about threats to banks’ operations are at an all time high, the Bank’s Systemic Risk Survey said on Monday. Mr Gracie identified cyber attacks as the biggest aspect of this.
“Unlike physical attacks, which are likely to be localised, the impact of a successful cyber attack on the financial system as a whole is potentially more serious from a financial stability point of view,” Mr Gracie said at a meeting regarding cyber crime organised by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
“Low-level attacks are now not isolated events but continuous. Unlike physical attacks that are localised, these attacks are international and know no boundaries.”
Tuesday’s summit will bring together representatives from major banks, government departments and law enforcement operations in an attempt to ensure greater co-operation on security.
In a report ahead of the meeting, the BBA warned of the rising threat of cyber attacks and “an element of lack of awareness and cultural resistance” to co-operation across the sector.
CBEST, which was launched last month but not announced until Tuesday, will be voluntary. However, Mr Gracie said: “We expect take-up to be significiant given the benefits it will deliver.”