Bank of England sends in hackers to test lenders’ defences
The Bank of England is to let hackers loose on Britain’s biggest banks to test their defences against cyber-attacks.
Under the Bank’s new framework, known as CBEST, hackers working for private security firms will identify the vulnerabilities of individual institutions, and replicate the methods of malicious attackers.
The Bank said its simulation would be superior to the digital security checks currently used by financial firms because it would be based on real threat intelligence and focus on the more sophisticated potential attacks on systems.
The move follows last year’s recommendation from the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee to beef up the resilience of the financial system to malicious hacking and cyber-crime.
Andrew Gracie, the Bank’s executive director of resolution, unveiled the new framework at the British Bankers’ Association cyber conference. “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,” he said.
“Unlike physical attacks which are localised, these attacks are international and know no boundaries. Cyber defence, as a result, has become not a matter of designing a hard perimeter that can repel attacks but detecting where networks have been penetrated and responding effectively.”
The results, including the extent of the access the licensed hackers gain and the damage they could potentially cause, will be shared with both the individual banks and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
“The results should provide a direct read-out on a firm’s capability to withstand cyber-attacks which – on the basis of current intelligence – have the most potential, combining probability and impact, to have an adverse impact on financial stability” Mr Gracie said.
The industry will not be forced to take part but the Bank, which unveiled CBEST unofficially two weeks ago, has seen strong interest from financial institutions. It will cost a bank about £100,000 to have its systems tested under the new regime, which cost about £200,000 to develop.
The internet security giant McAfee has estimated the global cost of cyber-crime at £266bn. In December, the Royal Bank of Scotland said its platform was briefly attacked by hackers, causing problems for customers trying to get access to their accounts.
The Bank expects to have 18 testing companies and nine intelligence firms accredited to carry out the tests after working with the Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers and the intelligence firm Digital Shadows to develop new industry standards.
The Bank told City firms in February they needed to act more quickly and report to regulators in more detail if they became subject to cyber-attacks from criminal gangs or terrorists. The warning followed a three-day exercise, Waking Shark II, which simulated an attack on the City.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
First full-length look is finally here
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...