Safety and Security

Goldman Sachs’ Cybersecurity Training Utilizes War Games

Goldman Sachs is using cyber security war games so that its technology staff will better learn how to fight and prevent threats that could harm the bank and its clients.

According to the Financial Times, Goldman is the first financial institution to sign up with U.K.-based Immersive Labs, which offers learning tests and war games on cyber threats.

Immersive was able to create a tool just four hours after the WannaCry malware attack became public that enabled users to analyze how the ransomware behaved so they could create prevention antidotes.

All of Goldman’s 8,000 technology employees will be granted access to the platform so they can test their skills against colleagues and compete on a company-wide league table.

“Threats are emerging all the time — the challenge is to find a company that can keep as current as we are,” said Jo Hannaford, head of technology for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Goldman.

While Goldman probably would not make the program mandatory, Hannaford said she “could see a scenario where a particular issue arose and we wanted everybody to understand it,” therefore making a specific test obligatory.

In addition, there won’t be any financial incentives given for those who perform well in the labs. Goldman also won’t use the feedback as part of its performance evaluation on its technology employees.

“We want people to do these things for the right reasons, and the incentive obviously should be learning,” she said. She added that the company’s programmers are already “so hungry for information.”

Hannaford also said that Goldman hopes other banks will follow suit. “We all need to continue to collaborate with other firms on this,” she said. “There’s no competitive advantage here, the advantage is we stop this form of crime . . . by doing this, hopefully we can help create a platform which helps us in that direction.”


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The September 2019 AML/KYC Tracker Report provides an in-depth examination of current efforts to stop money laundering, fight fraud and improve customer identity authentication in the financial services space.


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