/ Security

Banks test cyber attack defences in war games

The Bank of England is to test the UK’s ability to withstand major cyber attacks on banks this Friday.

In partnership with regulators and the Treasury, it will be testing the resilience of 40 firms to ensure that they can meet the minimum recovery standards after a cyber-attack.

The Bank said that, “the exercise will help authorities and firms identify improvements to our collective response arrangements, improving the resilience of the sector as a whole.”

It also expressed fears that disruption to just one bank’s payments could leave a ripple effect and a negative impact on the economy by preventing customers from paying for goods and services.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Robert Schifreen said, “it's going to be a nice Friday, everyone's cleared their diary, everyone knows what's going to happen, and it doesn't normally happen like this,” and that, “when you get hacked, it's probably going to be on a Sunday afternoon.”

On Thursday Peter Yapp, the deputy director at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said that the UK has not yet faced what is considered to be a “category one” cyber-attack, although one is expected to occur within a few years.

He also said that since the NCSC was launched over two years ago, it had dealt with exactly 1,110 cyber security incidents, numbering 10 per week.

He continued, saying that, “the majority of these incidents were from hostile nation states, meaning computer hackers that are directed, sponsored or tolerated by governments of those countries and these are the most acute and direct cyber security threats to our national security.”