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In an attempt to stop cyberattacks, The Bank of England has announced a new framework to spot and test possible weak points at lenders.
The Bank has taken the step to safeguard against the growing risk for the financial system, which handles money for millions of customers and companies in Britain. Christened as CBEST, the new framework will use information from government and vetted commercial sources to identify potential attackers.
The framework works on a technique used by hackers to devise a test to see how successful an attack on a company might be and whether it is resilient enough to resist it.
The results should provide a direct readout on a firm’s capability to withstand cyber-attacks that on the basis of current intelligence have the most potential, combining probability and impact, to have an adverse impact on financial stability,” said a senior official of the bank requesting anonymity.
Unlike physical attacks that are localised, the cyber attacks are international and know no boundaries.
The bank said the new framework differs from existing security testing at banks because it uses real threat intelligence and focuses on the more sophisticated and persistent attacks on critical systems and essential services.
Cyberattacks have become a frequent threat due to the rise in online banking in Britain. Criminals, extortionists and hacktivists — politically motivated hackers — attempting to infiltrate systems or just disrupt operations. The new testing framework was developed with UK cyberintelligence company Digital Shadows.
Royal Bank of Scotland had complained last December that its platform was briefly attacked by hackers, causing problems for customers trying to get access to their accounts.