City firms found failing in the battle against attack from cyber sharks

Bank of England's Waking Shark II exercise reveals that police have to be called in faster

City firms have been told that they need to act more quickly and report to regulators in more detail if they become subject to cyber-attacks from criminal gangs, terrorists or hostile countries.

The Bank of England, which conducted a massive simulation exercise called Waking Shark II, representing a three-day attack on the City back in November, said this had shown that banks had made considerable progress in the last two years, but more could still be done.

The detailed review of the Waking Shark II exercise was revealed as the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, hosted a summit of regulators for the financial, water, energy, communications and transport sectors with ministers and top officials from the security and intelligence agencies, to discuss working in partnership to address cyber threats to the UK's essential services.

Waking Shark II, held on a single day in a City livery hall, simulated a three-day concerted cyber-attack on the UK's financial system by a hostile state. It was aimed at the wholesale areas of the market and was designed so that the third day included the "triple witching" when stock options and futures all expire at the same time.

The exercise included denial-of-service attacks on firms' websites, attacks on their networks and problems with closing share prices, bond clearing and payment instructions.

Andrew Bailey, a deputy governor of the Bank of England and the head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said: "It is essential for financial stability that the UK financial system and its infrastructure continues to work towards improving its ability to withstand cyber-attacks."

The Bank of England said that Waking Shark II had worked, but that it would now consider creating a single co-ordinating body across the financial industry to manage how banks, firms and regulators communicate with each other in a cyber-attack crisis.

It said that it would look at strengthening the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership, set up in March last year, which connects firms and government agencies.

This partnership is complemented by a "Fusion Cell" supported on the Government side by the Security Service, GCHQ and the National Crime Agency, and by industry analysts from a variety of sectors.

The Bank also warned banks and firms that they needed to be much faster in reporting criminal attacks to the police and, if necessary, other law enforcement agencies.

It said that it would also make it clearer to firms which are regulated by both the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority how and to whom they should report incidents.

Mr Bailey said: "The role that regulators such as the Bank of England and Ofcom are already taking to embed cyber security in their sectors is vital, as set out in a joint communiqué outlining steps that government and regulators agree to undertake to help manage cyber risk across each sector."

Mr Cable said: "Cyber-attacks are a serious and growing threat to British businesses, but it is particularly important that those industries providing essential services such as power, telecommunications and banking are adequately protected to avoid disruption to our everyday lives."

The Bank said there was demand for "further and more challenging" exercises including extending simulated cyber-attacks to firms' retail businesses.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore