To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support security in the banking sector in the context of risk of Russian cyber attack; and if he will provide financial assistance to the banking sector to help maintain the integrity of its digital systems.
Responsibility for information technology infrastructure in the UK financial sector is primarily for the firms themselves. Financial assistance is not provided to firms to do so. However, the Financial Authorities have a role to play in supervising, coordinating and driving change to improve the sector’s operational resilience.
HMT works together with the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority (as the UK Financial Authorities), Cabinet Office, the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency to improve cyber resilience across the finance sector.
The finance sector also benefits from having a dedicated team within the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). They work closely with the Financial Authorities and firms to help improve the sector’s resilience and provide support during incidents. This includes providing advice and consultancy to critical national infrastructure organisations to secure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the banking sector’s digital systems.
While the NCSC have stated they are not aware of any current specific threats to the UK, they have published guidance on actions organisations, including those in the finance sector, can take when the cyber threat is heightened. They have also warned that the threat may remain that way for some time and advised organisations on how to maintain a heightened security posture.