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Improving financial cybersecurity at an international level must be a key agenda item at the G20 Summit in China this month (September 4th-5th).
This is according to a group of prominent US senators, who have urged president Barack Obama to raise this critical issue at the event.
In a letter to the White House, Gary Peters, Sherrod Brown, Mark Warner, Martin Heinrich, Kirsten Gillibrand and Debbie Stabenow, said that a “coordinated strategy” is vital, Reuters reported.
This is especially true of “critical financial institutions”, which are increasingly being targeted by highly sophisticated gangs of cybercriminals.
“Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce, but cybercriminals – whether independent or state-sponsored – imperil this international system in a way few threats have,” the letter stated.
The multimillion dollar cyberheist against Bangladesh Bank in February, 2016, was cited by the senators as a particular cause for concern.
It revealed, for example, security shortfalls within SWIFT, a global provider of secure financial messaging services that deals with billions of dollars a day.
The senators continued by saying that to maintain financial cybersecurity and prevent similar attacks, nations need to “erect more robust defenses and collaborative systems to prevent and mitigate the impact of successful attacks”.
Earlier this year, the Global Commission on Internet Governance recommended that cyberattacks should be included in international humanitarian law.
Its report, One Internet, stated: “Recognizing that the global interconnection of devices and economies makes the world’s communications and financial systems vulnerable to unintended effects of cyberattacks.
“Governments should publicly acknowledge that they will exercise restraint, avoid destabilizing developments and will apply in cyberspace (as in conventional armed conflict) international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.”
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security