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ECB tells banks to step up defences towards hacks amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

ECB tells banks to step up defences towards hacks amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) – The European Central Financial institution is telling euro zone banks zone to step up their defences towards cyber assaults, additionally within the context of geopolitical tensions such because the stand-off between Russia and Ukraine, the ECB’s prime supervisor mentioned on Thursday (Feb 10).

Mr Andrea Enria was presenting the outcomes of the ECB’s annual overview of banks, which he mentioned confirmed the trade had coped nicely with the coronavirus pandemic and capital aid measures could possibly be allowed to run out on the finish of this yr.

However the euro zone’s prime banking supervisor warned of rising threat from cyber assaults, with a surge in hacks since 2020.

“We’re asking (banks) to strengthen their cyber regime measures and take a look at a possible enhance in assaults and the hazard of those assaults going ahead,” Mr Enria informed a information convention.

Particularly, the ECB was telling banks to coach employees so they might deal with this risk and search for weak spots in companies they outsource. The central financial institution has additionally been operating simulated hacks for years.

Reuters was first to report on Wednesday that ECB was getting ready banks for a doable Russian-sponsored cyber assault, as tensions with Ukraine mount and the area braces for the monetary fallout of any battle.

Requested about such threat, Mr Enria mentioned the ECB would draw “the eye of banks in relation to the potential worsening of world tensions that might certainly set off extra assaults”.

The ECB’s considerations are mirrored around the globe.

The New York Division of Monetary Providers issued an alert to monetary establishments in late January, warning of retaliatory cyber assaults ought to Russia invade Ukraine and set off United States sanctions, in keeping with Thomson Reuters’ Regulatory Intelligence.

Earlier this yr, a number of Ukrainian web sites had been hit by a cyber strike that left a warning to “be afraid and count on the worst”, as Russia had amassed troops close to Ukraine’s borders.

Ukraine’s state safety service SBU mentioned it noticed indicators the assault was linked to hacker teams related to Russian intelligence companies.


Mr Enria mentioned six euro zone banks out of the 115 it supervises had fallen wanting ECB’s capital calls for on the finish of September 2021, down from 9 a yr earlier, however this was on account of structural points similar to low income, somewhat than the pandemic.

He didn’t title the six banks, however mentioned two had already crammed the shortfall and expressed satisfaction at how banks carried out through the pandemic, with most exceeding the minimal necessities regardless of piles of dangerous loans in some industries.

“We’re broadly happy with the way in which that banks have operated up to now through the pandemic,” he mentioned. “Banks want to stay conscious of the doable penalties for his or her stability sheets and strengthen their threat management and governance frameworks particularly.”

Mr Enria added a waiver permitting banks to make use of a few of their capital buffers, launched on the onset of the pandemic in 2020, can be scrapped on the finish of this yr, as extensively anticipated.

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