Banks take part in BoE’s cyberattack ‘war game’

Written by Hannah McGrath

The Bank of England (BoE) is conducting a cyber security ‘war gaming’ exercise with banks and financial institutions today to test the UK’s resilience in the face of a major cyber attack.

Around 40 firms, including the UK’s biggest banks, are to take part in the one-day drill, which will simulate the impact of a major cyber attack. It will test response times for protection of data, recovery of internal systems and public relations strategies designed to reassure the public after a major breach.

The exercise is being carried out in partnership with financial regulators and the Treasury amid concerns that an outage of service at one major bank could have a crippling effect on the rest of the economy, as customers and businesses are prevented from paying for goods and services.

A public rush to withdraw money from banks accounts in the event of an attack could also have a rapid effect on the banking system’s ability to function.

The BoE stated: “This exercise forms a vital part of the sector wide biennial process that seeks to ensure the industry is prepared for - and can respond effectively to - any major disruption stemming from a cyber Incident, protecting the financial system on which the public relies.”

Last month, FStech reported that banks and payments organisations were planning to carry out co-ordinated industry-wide cybersecurity drills as part of the new Financial Services Cyber Collaboration Centre (FSCCC), which is set to launch next year.