By Malika Shermatova, Founder and Managing Director, MINERVA PR

Financial services industry gathers at City Week 2020 – the 10th international financial services forum to discuss cybersecurity, operational resilience and global fight against financial crime

2020 has been an eye-opening year to many businesses, economies, governments, communities and the society as a whole, so far, as we all learn to navigate life and operate in the “new normal”.

As businesses, as well as governments, were forced to remote operation and working from home, our dependence and reliance on the internet and all things digital today have become critical. But this challenging time has also been a real test of operational resilience, stability, and, most importantly, the security of our networks and business infrastructure.

Remote working and working from home has certainly pushed the security perimeters beyond the usual “secure” office environment putting a strain on the reliability and security of business networks. Companies that previously had only a small percentage of remote operation suddenly had to operate almost 100% remotely and found that their infrastructure wasn’t really up for coping with the shift.

Covid-19 has certainly provided an ideal condition and opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit this chaotic situation, and as a result, making cybercrime one of the fastest-growing businesses. Reports of data breaches have grown significantly, with the most common types of attacks being ransomware and phishing. According to a study from Iomart, a cloud computing company, the number of large-scale breaches has increased by 273% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to last year.

With the sheer amount of money and sensitive information that the financial services industry handles, it is not surprising that these are an obvious target for cyber criminals, and therefore an ever-growing concern for financial organisations. But what is the solution? It is certainly not a fight that can be fought alone, and no business is immune to a cyber threat. It requires collective effort and force to find the most advanced ways of anticipating and responding to threats.

Bringing together some of the most prominent figures such as Saeb Eigner, Chairman, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Bob Wigley, Chairman, UK Finance and Clare Woodman, Head of EMEA and Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc, for a panel discussion dedicated to the topic and moderated by Peter Bevan, Global Practice Head, Financial Regulation Group at Linklaters, City Week 2020 the 10th International Financial Services Forum, which is due to take place virtually on 21-22 September 2020, places a great deal of emphasis on the importance and seriousness of the matter.

It is safe to say that financial crime is one of the biggest components of cyber threat. The recent breaches reported by Tesco Bank, Metro Bank, TSB and HSBC are a clear indication that the cyber security infrastructure is not as advanced and robust to keep up with cyber criminals that are increasingly becoming sophisticated at a faster pace. Business communities across industries need to come together to share intelligence and know-how. And let’s not forget the regulators who equally play a crucial role in finding solutions and putting measures in place, such as PSD2, which provides guidance on working together as an industry by placing mitigation measures and control mechanisms in place to manage operational and security risks.

David Lewis, Executive Secretary, Financial Action Taskforce, will be joined by Jesper Berg, Director General, Danish FSA, and Derville Rowland, Director General, Financial Conduct, Bank of Ireland, for a panel discussion moderated by Ian Mason, Partner and Head of UK Financial Services Regulation at Gowling WLG, looking at financial crime from a global perspective and discuss ways of working together in a collaborative way to create a better industry and a safer world.


Publication date: September 2020