With the threat of a major cyber attack on the horizon, the Bank of England is working with the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure that banks have sufficient defences in place to withstand an attack on their systems. According to the bank, the goal of the tests is to mitigate systemic risk to the financial ecosystem.
It said that these tests would be “severe but plausible” and will help them to identify weaknesses in defences and operational procedures. The tests will also help banks gauge how long it would take for essential financial services to recover in the event of such a scenario.
Testing for ‘Impact Tolerance’
The bank has stated that extensive disruption has the potential to damage the UK’s economy because companies and bank customers would be left unable to make purchases, accept payment or access their funds. Organisations subjected to the stress tests will have to show how they will meet the standard for “impact tolerance” in the event of an attack.
Those that fail will have to agree to remedial action put in place plans to improve their ability to face similar attacks in the future. The bank has stated that the stress pilot scheme will commence in 2019 and will focus on payments but has not named which firms will be participating in the pilot scheme.