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Cyber resilience

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 20.12.2018, 09:32 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4958x gelesen

Rome [ENA] In the IT area, the term resilience means the capacity of a system to adapt to the conditions of use and to withstand usury assuring the availability of the services provided. The European Central Bank's attention has been focused on the systems' ability to maintain operations and security in the event of cyber attacks, an ever-increasing and more and more sophisticated threat.

Today digital crime has the tools to undermine a whole country (that has been shown by the recent attacks that have paralyzed specific sectors, such as the health sector). Recently a document indicating the roadmap to ensure the IT resilience of infrastructures operating in the financial market has been published by ECB. Its objective is to propose a shared path to avoid the fragmentation of strategies and to make a common front against the sophistication of digital crime. But it also supports the operators with detailed and operational indications on the capacity of cyber resilience providing the Surveillance Authorities with an useful tool for assessment. Cyber resilience depends on effective security controls and system designs that protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of services. These measures should be proportionate to a threat landscape of financial market infrastructures and to a systemic role in the financial system, and consistent with its risk tolerance. The safe and efficient operation of financial market infrastructures (FMIs) is essential for maintaining and promoting financial stability and economic growth.

If not appropriately managed, financial market infrastructures can become sources of financial shocks, such as liquidity dislocations and credit losses, or major channels through which these shocks are spread across domestic and international financial markets. In this context, the level of cyber resilience, which impacts on financial market infrastructures operational resilience, can be a decisive factor in the overall resilience of the financial system and the broader economy. The distinguishing characteristic of cyber attacks is often the persistent nature of a campaign conducted by a motivated attacker (e.g. advanced persistent threat attacks).

The presence of an active, determined and sometimes sophisticated adversary in cyber attacks means that, unlike most other sources of risk, cyber attacks are often difficult to identify or fully eliminate and the range of impact can be difficult to determine. As a result of their interconnectedness, cyber attacks could arise through financial market infrastructures participants, linked financial market infrastructures, service providers, vendors or vendor products. Financial market infrastructures could themselves become a network to further disseminate cyber attacks, for example, via the distribution of malware to interconnected entities.

Unlike physical operational disruptions, cyber risk posed by an interconnected entity is not necessarily related to the degree of that entity’s relevance to the financial market infrastructures business. From a cyber perspective, a small-value/volume participant or a vendor providing non-critical services may be as risky as a major participant or a critical service provider. On the inside, the risk of an insider threat from rogue or careless employees opens up yet another avenue for possible compromises. Cyber attacks can be stealthy and propagate rapidly within a network of systems and certain cyber attacks can make some risk management and business continuity procedures ineffective.

For example, automated system and data replication arrangements that are designed to help preserve sensitive data and software in the event of a physical disruptive event might, in some instances, fuel the propagation of malware and corrupted data to backup systems. Malware designed to take advantage of such hidden weaknesses may elude controls. To minimize the impact of such attacks, capabilities to swiftly detect, respond to, contain and recover from them are required. Consequently, financial market infrastructures should constantly work to increase their cyber resilience capabilities with the objective of reducing the escalating risks that cyber threats pose both to financial market infrastructures and to their overall ecosystems.

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