G20 finance chiefs agree on concerted effort to fight financial crime

News by Roi Perez

The agreement follows a number of high profile cyber-attacks on banking systems around the world, which has brought banking security to the top of the agenda.

In a concerted effort, G20 finance chiefs have pledged to jointly fight cyber-attacks on the global banking system in response to the theft of $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh in 2016. The agreement is set to be finalised on Saturday.

Meeting in German resort town Baden-Baden, the money-men of the G20 have agreed that  regardless of the origin of the attack, they will assist each other in fighting off attacks, promising cross-border cooperation to maintain financial stability.

According to a draft document seen by news agency Reuters, a promise has been made to “promote the resilience of financial services and institutions in G20 jurisdictions against malicious use of information and communication technologies, including from countries outside the G20.”

Robert Capps, vice president of business development at NuData Security told SC Media UK: “Banks are in a street-fight with hackers of all varieties, whether from geopolitical threats or organised crime. The size, effectiveness, and frequency of attacks on banks are increasing and bolstered by some spectacularly successful cyber-thefts.”

Capps added: “With better collaboration, the industry as a whole can become more aware of ever-changing threats, share information on these risks, and work on joint initiatives that will improve the cyber-security threat response for all banks and financial institutions."

It is said that both the heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of News York, and the Bangladesh Central Bank, are the reason cyber-crime has become a top priority, as both elaborate heists exposed vulnerabilities in the system.

Attacks through the global SWIFT bank transfer system have continued to rise since the attack on Bangladesh's Central Bank. The network has now recorded a number of attacks which have resulted in stolen funds since the attack.

Other highly publicised attacks on the banking industry include an attack on the banking system's of Tesco Bank, where £2.5 million was stolen from around 9000 customer accounts. And Russia's central has also come under attack, losing 2 billion rubles ($34 million).

The European Union has also considered testing bank's defence mechanisms against such attacks, amidst growing concerns of the industry's vulnerabilities to hacking.

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