A problem shared is a problem halved
At the beginning of May 2017, the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), an industry body representing 49 member banks operating in the UAE, announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at facilitating cyber threat information sharing among banks to reduce cyber risks and mitigate threats to banks and their customers.
The Cyber Threat Intelligence Initiative 2017 was launched after the UBF’s CEOs Advisory Council approved in March a proposal calling for the creation of a cyber intelligence sharing platform. The initiative will allow banks to better identify, protect, detect, and respond to cyber attacks.
This is a phenomenal development, given we believe the timely sharing of cyber incident information intra and inter institution helps the entire sector to limit the impact of such occurrences.
The proactive implementation of this platform is also highly impressive given there have been examples internationally in which networks or systems have begun emphasising the importance of transparency and information sharing only having suffered a catastrophic breach.
We recommend that institutions and industry bodies continue to adopt a pro-active approach to cyber security in which they assume a state of breach in order to institute the defences and mitigation mechanisms necessary to minimise possible disruption caused by a cyber security incident.
Institutions need to better understand their respective risk profiles, which involves understanding their assets, the full range of threats they may face and from whom, and the vulnerabilities. The development of a network-wide monitoring and mitigation protocol in the face of cyber threats ought to be developed, which entails adopting a 360-degree view of cyber security incorporating planning, prevention, detection and protection, and response to digital threats.