Financial institutions in the UK and US will participate in a major, transatlantic exercise this month, which will assess the industry’s ability to respond to a cyberattack.

Operation Resilient Shield, which is being led by CERT-UK, the UK’s national computer emergency response team, was described by the Telegraph as “the most sophisticated test of communications and coordination to date”.

The simulation will expose banks to various types of cyberattacks and examine not only how secure their systems are, but also how effective they are in working together.

In particular, CERT-UK is keen to see how financial institutions coordinate their activities with their respective international counterparts, as well as with both UK and US governments.

The idea of regularly assessing the resilient capabilities of banks is growing in importance, as the financial industry is increasingly at risk of being subjected to highly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Moreover, as Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England in the UK, noted earlier this year, a proactive approach to cybersecurity is essential because “the adaptive nature of the threat” requires risk management policies to be regularly updated.

“The financial sector should continue to build its resilience to cyber risks and its capability to recover quickly,” he said in July.

“This requires strong governance at the most senior levels of banks. With this in mind, the [bank’s] committee is recommending that the resilience of firms and the infrastructure at the core of the system to cyberattacks is regularly assessed.”

Operation Resilient Shield is part of a wider cybersecurity agreement between the UK and US, which commits both countries to working together to come up with collaborative solutions to this global threat.