G7 member countries to simulate financial sector cyber-attack

Next month, leading G7 member countries are to jointly simulate a major cross-border financial sector cyber-attack.

Organised by the French central bank under France’s presidency of the G7, Nathalie Aufauvre, the Bank of France’s director general for financial stability told a cyber-security conference at the bank that the cyber-attack will be a simulation based on the malware infection of a widely used financial sector technical component.

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank have already conducted such tests, but this new exercise will be the first undertaken across borders at the G7 level, so France has taken the lead to test the cyber-defence capabilities of the banking sector of the G7 nations early next month.

French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, told the conference: “Cyber threats are proof that we need more multilateralism and more cooperation between our countries.”

The three-day exercise aims to demonstrate the cross-border effects of such a cyber-attack, and is to involve 24 financial authorities from the G7, comprising central banks, market authorities and finance ministries.

Financial sector representatives from France, Italy Germany and Japan will also participate.

Many countries have in recent years stepped up oversight of banks and insurers’ capacity to respond. However, financial regulators in countries such as France and Germany say that requirements in some countries outside the G7 are less onerous, creating an incentive for firms to move operations there to cut costs.

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