Co-ordination Essential for Cybersecurity
Interesting remarks on the role that standardisation, regulation, and information have to play in the global battle against cyber threats this week at the G7 2019 Conference, Cybersecurity: Coordinating efforts to protect the financial sector in the global economy.
The need for cooperation and coordination to tackle this global threat was made clear: cybersecurity threats are global, and doubly so in the heavily interconnected financial system. The financial sector is also the preferred target of cyber-attacks, with IBM estimating that 19% of cyber-attacks are focused on financial services.
Responding adequately is a challenge, however, as there are numerous confidentiality issues surrounding sharing information in this area, making measurement of cyber incidents difficult. Further, François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, highlighted how there has been a proliferation of different cyber-risk regulations, adding to the compliance burden without improving clarity due to their wide variation. Common, comparable categorisation could help better measure attack impacts and evolution, and encourage cross-border communication.
One way to improve alignment is to build a common language. In 2018 the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a cyber lexicon containing 50 core terms to support the work of standard setters and authorities in addressing financial sector cyber resilience. The common language should help co-operation by allowing the private sector and authorities to accurately communicate and identify solutions.
Cybersecurity is a significant threat and tackling it a serious challenge. Ensuring regulatory alignment and a standardised language for discussion is an essential step in encouraging global co-operation on this vital issue.