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November 22, 2011

I caught this article in The Register, and it was interesting enough to post, especially around how it will be viewed (even by a knowledgable author).

London banks are taking part in a simulated cyberattack exercise on Tuesday designed to test the resilience of the UK’s financial service industry to a collapse of telecoms systems and Olympics-related transport disruption.

The exercise is occurring against the real world backdrop of the Occupy the City protestors, camped outside the Square Mile. The joint Financial Services Authority, Bank of England and Treasury initiative involves staff from around 80 banks. An outline of the scenario to be played out on Tuesday by UK Financial Sector Continuity explains that the excise will look at responses to simulated cyber-attack and internet service disruption.

The surprising part (to me) about this is that they’re actually announcing that they’re doing this.  It’s no secret that almost every business and industry does cyber-wargaming to understand their response to a security threat.  My company has publicly worked with our fellow IT organizations at times to outline ways to test the systems, and I’m sure many others share as well.  It’s a way to make the system better.

I would guess since this involves such a large number of players, they had to go public on it.  I would expect nothing other than generalities on the results… most companies treat the real results as “need to know” security levels.  I’m encouraged by the span of this, especially since the banking system is somewhat unstable from both a financial and technical perspective.

I did note that the author had to toss in the OTT comment.  There’s really no link.  The timing is likely more that this is a relatively light week for the global banking system, and it’s going to go hot for the rest of the year.  But it’s not surprising that pervasive news stays pervasive news, even as it loses relevance.  At least the banks aren’t offering free toasters to protestors who don’t interfere this week.

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