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11/2/2015
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UK-US Cyberattack Simulation On Finance Sector Set For This Month

US-CERT and CERT-UK putting President and Prime Minister's earlier plans into action.

A coordinated simulation to test how well the United States' and United Kingdom's government agencies and financial centers in London and New York communicate in the event of a cyberattack on the financial sector will take place this month, officials stated today.

The joint exercise is the result of a set of agreements for cybersecurity cooperation laid out by President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in January.

Dubbed Operation Resilient Shield, the simulation will be coordinated by US-CERT and its British counterpart CERT-UK. The Bank of England -- which recently announced plans to increase its cybersecurity funding -- will also be involved in planning the simulation. Other banks participating in the exercise have yet to be determined, but the U.S. Treasury and the British finance ministry will take part.

The simulation will focus more on weaknesses in information sharing and incident response procedures than weaknesses in the banking systems themselves. As a representative for CERT-UK told Reuters, "There will be no testing of cash machines coming down, banks coming down or anything like that."

The exercise this month is part of the countries' collaborative effort to harden security of critical infrastructure. The agreement laid out between President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron also included plans regarding better cooperation on cyber defense -- for example, more partnerships between the countries' law enforcement and intelligence agencies, like UK's GCHQ and MI5 and the U.S.'s NSA and FBI. The pact further plans more investment in academic research on cybersecurity, including joint support for a new Fulbright Cyber Security Award and a Cambridge vs. Cambridge infosec contest between the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio
 

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