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UK finance firms to face planned hacking

Finance firms in the UK could be attacked by ethical hackers on behalf of financial services regulators to identify weaknesses in cyber security

Finance firms in the UK could be attacked by ethical hackers on behalf of financial services regulators to identify weaknesses in cyber security.

According to a Financial Times report, the Bank of England will organise simulations of hacks on banking IT infrastructures as part of regulators’ attempts to better understand cyber security risks.

The Prudential Regulation Authority would not comment.

Regulators ran operation Waking Shark II in November last year, which simulated a major cyber attack on the payments and markets systems on which the UK’s financial system depends.

The test was monitored by the Bank of England, Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority to assess the ability of the UK’s core financial services providers to withstand cyber attacks.

The first Operation Waking Shark was conducted two years earlier by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Waking Shark II identified areas of further improvement, such as creating a single co-ordination body from industry to manage such communications during an incident, as well as co-ordination from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It said although there was some communication between participants and good communication with authorities, but it was identified there “is no formal communication coordination within the wide sector”.

In June last year the Bank of England said cyber attacks were the biggest risk to banks.

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