FS-ISAC Conducts Ransomware Exercise with EMEA Banks to Improve Cyber-Resilience

FS-ISAC Conducts Ransomware Exercise with EMEA Banks to Improve Cyber-Resilience

ZURICH – 21 February 2019 – The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a non-profit member-driven organisation that helps to assure the resilience and continuity of the global financial services sector, today announced that it has conducted its second EMEA cyber-range exercise in Zurich on 13 February. 
https://www.fsisac.com/ 
 
The cyber-range exercise, hosted by UBS, follows FS-ISAC’s prediction that artificial intelligence will be increasingly used to create new ransomware that is able to evade detection and circumvent protections in 2019. FS-ISAC partnered with UBS, an institution known for its commitment to investing and allocating significant resources to protect its critical infrastructure and customers against cyber-threats. 
 
The exercise convened CISOs, CIOs, Heads of Security and Security Analysts from 14 leading financial services and trade associations from across Europe to take part in a WannaCry-style attack on a simulated bank network. The exercise was also observed by several multinational retail and investment banks, asset and wealth management and financial services companies. 
 
“Having attended FS-ISAC’s previous cyber-range exercise, we were keen to host one at our offices in Zurich given the close alignment with our existing security efforts. We enjoyed working with representatives from other organisations and saw first-hand the impact that collaboration and information-sharing had on the participants’ decisions-making and response times,” said Carlo Hopstaken, Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Cyber Assurance Testing at UBS. “We look forward to strengthening the relationships that we developed during the exercise and we will encourage others in the industry to communicate with their peers more to improve the overall resilience of the financial services sector.”
 
The exercise tested how organisations can better understand and improve how they respond to, communicate, get assistance, and recover from real world cyber-attacks, which infect their systems. Participants took part in an on-site technical and hands-on-keyboard experience that allowed them to collaborate and share information across with other teams and organisations, thereby enabling them to exchange best practices and raise their capability maturity levels.
 
“The EMEA exercise programme encourages members and interested parties to mitigate the risks posed by the ever-changing cyber threat. Participation in the exercises contributes to improved response capabilities and acts as an effective stress test on organisations’ existing processes.” said Ray Irving, Managing Director, Global Business Services at FS-ISAC.  “We are pleased that the second instalment of the exercise programme was met with such enthusiasm and we are committed to working with our existing members and the wider financial services industry to emphasise the value of sharing information and in regularly practicing defensive mechanisms.
Following the heightened engagement of the exercise, FS-ISAC will host the next cyber-range exercise, which will feature an updated version of the ransomware, in partnership with Santander in Spain in June 2019.
 
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Note to Editors
 
FS-ISAC Exercises 
FS-ISAC cybersecurity exercises enable members to develop best practices for their respective institutions and help with crisis response coordination within the sector, cross-sector, with law enforcement and other governing bodies. The organisation is currently building a range of customised exercises for the financial services sector including: 
 
  • Cyber-Attack Against Payment Systems (CAPS) - This virtual exercise is aimed at payment companies and is free to all regulated financial institutions in EMEA, will take place on 10-11 and 17-18 September 2019. 
  • Cyber-Attack Against Insurance System (CAIS) – This virtual exercise simulates an attack on insurance companies to help gauge their institution's readiness in the event of such an attack or incident, will take place on 9-20 March 2019. 
FS-ISAC will host its EMEA Summit on 28-30 October 2019. For more information please visit fsisac.com/events.
 
About FS-ISAC
The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1999 and is funded by nearly 7,000-member firms headquartered in 50 countries with users in 72 countries. FS-ISAC is a member-driven organization whose mission is to help assure the resilience and continuity of the global financial services infrastructure and individual firms against acts that could significantly impact the sector’s ability to provide services critical to the orderly function of the global economy. FS-ISAC shares threat and vulnerability information, conducts coordinated contingency planning exercises, manages rapid response communications for both cyber and physical events, conducts education and training programs and fosters collaborations with and among other key sectors and government agencies. 
 
Follow us on Twitter @FSISAC, on LinkedIn or visit fsisac.com/Exercises
 
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FS-ISAC European media contact:
Adel Raslan
+44 (0)20 3878 8574
 
FS-ISAC Global media contact:
Adriana Villasenor, Chief Communications Officer
+1.703.343.0329