With cyberattacks on the rise, the European Union may be taking new steps to ensure banks are at the top of their cybersecurity game.
EU officials and sources told Reuters that the agency is considering testing the defenses of banks against cyberattacks to help address the growing concerns about the banking industry’s vulnerabilities to hacks.
Now more than ever, banks are facing an increasing number of sophisticated attacks at the hands of cybercriminals. Despite efforts on behalf of global regulators to carry out checks on lenders’ security systems, the number of complex attacks keeps rising.
According to a report from the European Banking Authority (EBA) back in December, financial institutions “are struggling to demonstrate their ability to cope with the rising threat of intruders gaining unauthorized access to their critical systems and data.”
This has led to what may be the next step in improving cybersecurity across the banking sector — an EU-wide stress test.
An official from the European executive commission told Reuters that plans are being made to initiate additional initiatives that will help to address the threat of cyberattacks.
“These include cyberthreat information sharing or penetration and resilience testing of systems,” the source explained.
Early last year, the European Central Bank (ECB) set up a database to register and track cybercrime occurrences at commercial banks, with the ultimate goal of creating an “early warning and analysis system” geared toward big lenders.
However, Reuters said that the exchange of information across national authorities on cyberincidents remains limited.
While a final decision has yet to be made on whether the stress tests will be implemented or not, an EBA official did confirm that cybersecurity remains a top priority on the agency’s agenda.