Government tasks FSA to product cyber security guidance for financial services sector
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) will shortly be publishing a review cyber security across the financial services sector.
Greg Clark (MP), financial secretary to the Treasury has reported to Parliament that the Bank of England and the Treasury are working with the FSA to review how cyber security is currently managed across the finance sector. Working with other agencies the procedures of a number of financial institutions will be benchmarked in a programme led by the FSA.
This development of the Tripartite Authorities project on Resilience Benchmarking first undertaken in 2005 to assess the business continuity management practices in place across the financial services sector highlights the growing importance of cyber risk and builds on the information gathered over the course of the Resilience Benchmarking project since 2005.
Greg Clark commenting on the programme said: "(this) benchmarking programme, led by the FSA, to identify cyber and technology practices in 30 major financial institutions will, once concluded, result in the publication of an updated Business Continuity Management practice guide and discussion paper so that all firms in the sector can learn from the exercise."
Benchmarking project will provide important insight into the consistency and approaches to managing cyber risk across our financial situations and importantly link the management of risk to business continuity ensuring more cohesive planning.
However, what will be significant to the value and overall effectiveness of the project is the detail. An important consideration will be against what standard or parameters organisations will be measured and here it is important to consider not just where the risks lie today, but how they can evolve and transform in the future.
Increasing dependency on technology is building greater opportunity for business but also increasing the potential risk of disruption. Fully understanding how any failure to manage cyber threats can consequently impact on the operations of businesses and our broader public services will be an important consideration in the future.
The findings of the benchmarking project should make interesting reading though and from previous experience will hopefully be influential in communicating not just how organizations manage threat today, but what positive steps can be taken across the financial services sector as a whole to improve the resilience of cyberspace.
Link to Bank of England Financial Sector Continuity Page
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The Information Security Breaches Survey, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), reveals that the number of cyber attacks hitting businesses has increased over the last year. It showed 87% of small firms experienced a security breach last year - up 10% - and 93% of large organisations had also been targeted and found some attacks caused more than £1 million of damage.