SIFMA reports on Quantum Dawn cyber exercise, urges better information sharing

SIFMA released the summary of key recommendations from its biennial Quantum Dawn cybersecurity exercise conducted in November 2019. This event enabled public and private bodies around the globe to exercise their incident response protocols, both internally and externally, simulating how they would respond to global cyber-attacks. Participants included more than 800 representatives from over 150 financial firms, as well as more than 50 regulatory authorities, central banks, government agencies and trade associations across 19 countries.

“A clear takeaway from the exercise is the importance of a robust partnership between the industry and government grounded in information sharing,” said Kenneth Bentsen, SIFMA president and CEO. “While the industry, and firms individually, are diligently investing, planning and training to develop and maintain robust cyber defense and resiliency plans, no single actor – not the government, nor any individual firm – has the resources to protect markets from cyber threats on their own, nor do cyber incidents restrict themselves to one geographic region. That’s why the communication aspect was essential to the exercise’s success.”

Along with SIFMA, Protiviti helped organize the simulation and prepare the After-Action Report with recommendations aimed to help the sector strengthen its readiness to defend critical financial services infrastructure from an array of cyberattacks and extreme scenarios.

Those recommendations include:

  • Create a directory of critical stakeholders and key contacts: creating a directory of financial services firms and key trade organizations, regulatory bodies, central banks and government agencies that would respond to a global cyber or physical event is a good first step for the industry.
  • Conduct periodic exercises: the industry should schedule regular touchpoints and exercises. These exercises could be a catalyst for developing global information sharing capabilities and incident response and recovery protocols for critical public- and private-sector organizations and contacts.
  • Enhance information sharing capabilities: enhancing existing information sharing networks, with organizations that currently manage crises in their respective jurisdictions, is key to building stronger cross-border information sharing between the public and private sector.

Read the full release

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