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Major European financial infrastructures join forces against cyber threats

A group of Europe’s largest financial infrastructures, members of the Euro Cyber Resilience Board for pan-European Financial Infrastructures (ECRB) including SWIFT, and chaired by the European Central Bank (ECB), has launched an initiative to share vital cybersecurity threat information.

The core objectives of the initiative, known as Cyber Information and Intelligence Sharing Initiative (CIISI-EU), are to protect the financial system by preventing, detecting and responding to cyberattacks; to facilitate the sharing of information and good practices between financial infrastructures; and to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats.

“This is the first time that major financial infrastructures, Europol and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) have jointly taken steps against cyber risk,” said ECB Executive Board member and ECRB chair, Fabio Panetta. “We hope this will be an inspiring model for other jurisdictions to tackle one of the biggest threats of our time. Cybercriminals are increasingly stealing money, and therefore sharing information will help us to prevent attacks and ultimately protect people’s money.”

In the coming months, the ECB will publish the framework for the CIISI-EU sharing initiative to encourage other jurisdictions to follow suit.

Cyber threats pose a serious risk to the stability of the European and global financial system. Cyber threats are borderless and the capabilities of the attackers are constantly evolving, threatening to disrupt the interconnected global financial systems. To successfully combat cyber risk, financial infrastructures need to actively participate in information and intelligence sharing arrangements and collaborate with trusted stakeholders within the industry as a whole.

“Cybercriminals have always been good at sharing their modus operandi, tactics and intelligence with each other and we could learn to mirror this behaviour across our ecosystem,” commented Brett Lancaster, head of the Customer Security Programme at SWIFT and chair of the ECRB intelligence sharing working group. “Research shows that the exchange of relevant and timely cyber threat intelligence has proved critical in effectively detecting and preventing attacks. This is why we set out to create a framework which we will implement that simplifies the process of intelligence sharing by re-using proven components, adding value through disseminating strategic information and allowing each member to implement it at their own pace. This, we hope, will make it easier for those involved to protect consumers as well as the financial industry from cybercriminals.”

 

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