Quantum Dawn 2 a Useful Test, but Banks Have More Cyberwar Prep to Do

By Sposito, Sean | American Banker, July 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

Quantum Dawn 2 a Useful Test, but Banks Have More Cyberwar Prep to Do


Sposito, Sean, American Banker


Byline: Sean Sposito

A staged cyber assault conducted Thursday to test banks' ability to respond to cyber threats was a useful exercise, but banks still have a long way to go before they're fully prepared for cyberwar, observers say.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conducted the test, called Quantum Dawn 2, to prove the crisis response and communications plans of some of Wall Street's biggest banks. More than 500 people from 50 different financial services companies and government agencies participated.

This drill is the sequel to a six-hour simulation the council held nearly three years ago.

At the time, 30 companies took part in Quantum Dawn. (The name is a play on the Twilight saga movie, 'Breaking Dawn,' that was released the day of the event, November 18, 2011.)

Unlike Quantum Dawn, which put participants around a conference room table, Quantum Dawn 2 participants worked in their own offices where they took part via email, telephone and other communications channels.

A trade group official declared the event a success.

"Cybersecurity is a top priority for the financial industry," said Karl Schimmeck, SIFMA's vice president of financial services operations, in an emailed statement. "This exercise gave participants the opportunity to run through their crisis response procedures, practice information sharing and refine their protocols relating to a systemic cyber attack."

He added that the group plans to analyze the test results to identify areas that need improvement and come up with best practices for financial services companies.

These types of exercises are important to perform. …

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