The Bank of England wants finance to improve its IT security

Security

by Jimmy Nicholls| 10 June 2014

New scheme will help bankers fight the robbers.

Financial security has received a boost from the government as the Bank of England, the Treasury, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) set up a framework for sharing, testing and benchmarking cyber security.

Launched in the wake of the accreditation scheme Cyber Essentials, the CBEST framework is a further indication the government is taking steps to improve the online security of British businesses, with particular attention paid to financial information, the main target of cybercrime.

Ian Glover, president of the non-profit security group CREST, who helped create the scheme, said he thought security industries had done a good job of securing traditional environments, but that the new framework would improve the practices currently in place.

"CBEST tests have been designed to replicate the behaviours of serious threat actors, assessed by Government and commercial intelligence providers as posing a genuine threat to important financial institutions," he said. "Whilst it doesn't sound like a significant change, in fact it is."

A spate of cyber-heists last year damaged called into question the ability of banks to safeguard customer data, but a survey taken last month revealed that banks were more trusted than the NHS and employers to keep data safe.

Andrew Gracie, executive director of resolution at the Bank of England, said: "The idea of CBEST is to bring together the best available threat intelligence from government and elsewhere, tailored to the business model and operations of individual firms, to be delivered in live tests, within a controlled testing environment."

Universities and Science minister David Willetts said that the likes of GOZeuS and Cryptolocker, as well as eBay's high profile breach last month, was a warning not to be complacent.

"We already spend more online than any other major country in the world, and this is in no small part because Britain is already a world leader in cybersecurity," he added.

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