Banks hold large-scale cyber attack exercise

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Lauri Aasmann, head of RIA's cybersecurity unit. Source: RIA

A large-scale cyber attack exercise took place Thursday, involving the Bank of Estonia and several other banks.

The scenario involved rehearsals in responding to a mass cyber attack and managing its aftermath, and involved the national Information Systems Authority (RIA) as well.

Lauri Aasmann, head of cybersecurity at RIA, said criminals are constantly on the lookout for ways to hack into data or commit other cyber crimes, including extortion.

Aasmaan noted that avenues cyber criminals could potentially use are ever-growing, meaning training exercises like Thursday's were crucial.

Aalo Kukk, risk manager at the Bank of Estonia, the country's central bank, said there has been a global increase in cyber attacks on banks, which have sometimes caused disruption for customers.

In Estonia, this was a particular worry, Kukk said. "Estonian banking is almost fully digital, which sets particularly high demands for cybersecurity. Such exercises strengthen the sector's cooperation and ability to react," Kukk said.

Tiit Hallas, head of the Estonian Banking Association's (Pangaliit) information security working group said that the exercise included hypothetical situations which some participants had encountered in real life.

Hallas said: "While we haven't finished summing up the exercise yet, we definitely gained a lot of useful information about both our strengths and weaknesses."

Recent cyber attacks on Estonian institutions include three last November which hit three different government ministries.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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