The Bank of England, in partnership with some of the biggest US Banks, will take part in an extensive cyber-attack simulation, as officials examine the financial industry’s readiness in the event of a security breach on its systems.
The exercise, known as Operation Resilient Shield, is intended to be the most sophisticated test of communications and coordination yet, reports The Telegraph.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced the joint operation earlier this year after a visit with President Barack Obama, during which the White House stated:
“Both leaders agreed to bolster efforts to enhance the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure in both countries, strengthen information sharing and intelligence cooperation on cyber issues, and support new educational exchanges between US and British cybersecurity scholars and researchers.”
The operation will be overseen by CERT, the Computer Emergency Response Team, in both countries.
In recent years, the UK performed similar exercises, such as the Waking Shark trials, in order to observe the response of bank personnel, as well as how financial institutions would collaborate with each other and regulators to mitigate an attack.
According to The Telegraph, Operation Resilient Shield will focus on the trans-Atlantic coordination between each government, those governments and the banks regulated, in addition to the banks’ communications with each other.
Industry experts believe the simulation will provide financial institutions the opportunity to assess their ability to anticipate an attack, and develop the comprehensive cyber warfare protection they need.
David Kennerley, senior manager for threat research at Webroot, says financial organizations are prime targets due to the valuable data they hold.
“In light of recent high-profile cyberattacks, including last month’s TalkTalk breach, it’s vital that organizations think ‘outside the box’ in order to shore up defenses,” notes Kennerley.
“The bottom line is that the more you practice and prepare for an attack, the better you will respond when encountering the real thing.”