The United Kingdom and the USA are to implemnent “war games” style cyber attacks on each other as part of a new joint defence against cyber criminals.
The two leaders will practice opening lines of communication in a series of war games staging potential global threats, beginning with a simulated attack on the Bank of England and Wall Street to take place later this year. It will be followed by tests on infrastructure. The first exercise will take place later this year.
The “unprecedented” arrangement between the two countries was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of talks with US President Barack Obama.
The two are discussing a range of other issues, including counter-terrorism.
The two men are meeting in the Oval Office of The White House for talks expected to last about an hour.
Analysis: Businesses need to follow government’s lead on cyber security
Commenting on the news, Richard Cassidy, Technical Director EMEA at Alert Logic said: “Activities such as these “War Games” serve a great purpose in raising industry awareness about the real threat posed to businesses across the industry. Focusing on finance and national infrastructure sector is a good start and represents the most high-profile high-value targets we’ve seen attacked over the past several years. Having the best government led minds from both sides of the pond working together to test the threat protection capabilities of some of our most important organisations, is a great benefit given that the source is not malicious and any weaknesses found can be rectified to bolster their respective security mechanisms.
“Success will be deemed by how the information is shared and the lessons learned by both sides on the outcome of these games. The goal has to ensure better security posture of the targets and raised awareness across the industry of the real danger organisations face into todays light-speed evolving threat landscape. Hacker cells are becoming far more sophisticated in response to the increased capabilities of our applications and infrastructure and as such taking a great deal more time and effort in targeting their victims of high value.
“As with all best security practices; we need to constantly assess and assure our environments against the latest threats and compliance mandates. The war games are great start, but without repeated activity (not just by government led bodies, but by businesses themselves), it can be case of “baton-down-the-hatches” for the storm and focus moved elsewhere until the next event; which would be missing the point entirely by the teams entrusted with the security of some of our respective nations most prized organisations and institutions.”