The Bank of Russia, the central bank of the Russian Federation, is to double the number of staff in its FinCERT unit, a special division set up to fight cyber-crime in the credit and financial sectors.
FinCERT also collects information about hacker attacks on the banking industry.
The Central Bank has already started a search for specialists to join FinCERT, and these will be selected in accordance with what are described as special procedures and contests. In contrast to previous years, particular attention will be paid to carrying out scientific tests, as well as the design of special programmes and measures directly related to the fight against cyber-crime in the banking sector. As part of this programme FinCERT is to prepare legislative changes in IT security, with the intention that these should then go for consideration for implementation by the Russian national government.
The level of investment in the project has not officially been disclosed, however, sources close to the Central Bank told SC that the total budget of FinCERT may reach €30 million to €40 million.
Part of these funds will be invested in buying new technical equipment required by the FinCERT.
FinCERT is aware that the current demand for skilled IT security experts is high both in Russia and abroad, so special measures are being considered to attract renowned specialists. There is a possibility that the forthcoming recruitment contests may involve participation by some well-known Western IT experts, whose names are currently not being disclosed.
More than 200 Russian banks are connected to the FinCERT system.
Since the beginning of the current year FinCERT has saved Russian banks more than 1.5 billion rubles (US$30 million) by thwarting cyber-criminals' attempts to break into Russian banks.
According to Alexander Vurasko, head of the press-service at the departmnent of cyber-crimes in the Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Central Bank, together with the Russian Ministry of Interior, are also developing uniform software standards for Russian banks
Earlier this year Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia, said that the Central Bank is aware of the ever growing risks of cyber-crimes in Russia and is very serious about tackling this issue.