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Thursday, March 8, 2018

World Economic Forum forms cybersecurity consortium

On March 6, 2018, the World Economic Forum launched a consortium dedicated to bolstering cybersecurity within the financial technology and data aggregator sectors. The consortium came together after leading cybersecurity experts convened by the forum identified the growing threat of cyber-attacks to financial services providers as a key concern for global financial systems.

"Fintechs can only deliver on their customer experience promises if the financial system is able to manage the risks adequately," said Matthew Blake, Head of the Financial and Monetary System Initiative at the forum. "This consortium will offer technology companies a clear goalpost and thus enable them to implement sound cybersecurity measures at the product design stage."

The consortium plans to commence work in conjunction with the organization's Global Centre for Cybersecurity, which opened recently in Geneva, Switzerland. According to the forum, the aim of the center is to establish the first global platform for governments, businesses, experts and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity challenges.

The consortium plans to focus its efforts on four key areas: development of common principles for cybersecurity assessments, guidance for implementation, a point-based scoring framework and guidance on improving an organization's score. To aid in these efforts, the group also plans to draw upon the U.S. Chamber of Commerce project on Critical Infrastructure Protection, Information Sharing and Cybersecurity undertaken in 2017.

Founding members voice concerns

Founding members of the new consortium include Citigroup Inc., Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP, Kabbage Inc. and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. Several of these members issued statements regarding the importance of global collaboration on cybersecurity issues.

"Cyber-risk is the number-one threat to the financial services industry and its infrastructure, so it is critically important that we work together to share insights and drive best practice," said Michael C. Bodson, President and CEO of DTCC, USA. "This initiative will further strengthen cyber-resilience and foster greater collaboration with our colleagues across the public and private sectors globally."

Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein added, "Kabbage is joining the World Economic Forum consortium because cybersecurity is a never-ending, age-long issue that requires a long-lasting solution for tomorrow and not a Band-Aid for today. We need a living global standard that allows financial services companies to compete and work with incumbent institutions across borders and industries."

Consortium member Mario Greco, CEO of Zurich Insurance Group, noted that the number of cyber breaches incurred by businesses has nearly doubled since 2013. "We expect the consortium to help adopt best cybersecurity practices and reduce the complexity of diverging cyber regulation around the world," he said.

An initial assessment and proposed solutions were released by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, in a white paper titled, Innovation-Driven Cyber-Risk to Customer Data in Financial Services. end of article

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