Banks, large investment firms, insurers and other entities within the financial market infrastructure can be vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly more frequent and sophisticated.
In May 2015, FinSAC organized a two-day regional seminar on cyber risk preparedness to highlight potential risks and measures to how address them, as well as to share experience and good practices.
FinSAC works with countries in the emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region to improve their cyber-preparedness by helping to raise awareness, testing vulnerability, and encourage the development of governance systems and policy frameworks that require systemically important companies to identify, monitor and mitigate IT risks.
Central banks and supervisors have an important role to ensure all stakeholders effectively address potential risks considering the threat cyber-attacks can present to financial stability.
Sixty-five senior officials from central banks, supervisory agencies and ministries of finance participated in the seminar as did international experts from leading consulting firms, international banks, EU institutions (Europol, European Central Bank, European Commission, and the European Banking Authority) and the World Bank.
The seminar considered ways in which different countries are tackling this issue, from implementing national cyber security strategies and legislation to financial regulators requiring financial institutions to review and test their cyber risk management policies.
Participants also discussed steps to identify and reduce cyber risks in critical areas, as well as techniques for effective information risk management, including ongoing investment in IT systems and staff training.
The seminar focused on the results of a FinSAC regional cyber security survey of banking supervisors in 14 ECA countries, which found that countries could be more proactive in addressing the problem.
Cyber-preparedness is crucial to the entire banking system and can be achieved only by developing greater awareness and planning, and improving domestic and cross‐border cooperation and knowledge sharing, the survey found.
The survey respondents emphasized the importance of governance and cyber-preparedness: to ensure attacks are quickly identified and appropriately dealt with, to limit contagion and quickly resume normal business.