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How to achieve the ‘Fort Knox’ of cyber security


16 March 2017

Chris Wilson

Blogs by author: Chris Wilson, Head of Propositions, Local Government and Health, BT


The City of London took its expertise in fighting digital crime to Asia, exploring how the right cyber defences can offer a digital version of Fort Knox.

Protecting the cyber equivalent of Fort Knox.

As a world-leading hub of digital enterprise, the City of London attracts high levels of cyber crime, accounting for half of all reported incidents of potentially criminal activity within its boundaries.

Plus, as custodian of some USD331 billion of brand equity — that’s more than the value of the bullion currently stored in Fort Knox — the financial centre is at the forefront of protecting the digital economy.

With a thorough understanding that cyber crime threats are now borderless, the City of London is in the vanguard of spreading expertise about how these perils need to be addressed through shared threat intelligence.

Sharing expertise in Hong Kong.

On 17 February, BT Hong Kong was delighted to host Dr Andrew Parmley, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and his team. As part of a tour of Asia’s financial centres, the London visitors spoke to an audience of government officials and business leaders — including Chinese and Hong Kong banking representatives — on the theme of cyber crime.

Sharing the City of London’s leadership in this space, their talk emphasised how businesses can only thrive in a digital economy by confronting the risks at a board level and using education to develop the C-suite’s cyber knowledge and skills.

Putting Hong Kong on alert.

Dr Parmley’s talk highlighted how targeted attacks against banks are on the rise and the maturity in deploying comprehensive security solutions to protect corporate infrastructure can be low among local businesses. He warned that there’s currently a significant cyber skills gap within the locality, with a need for over 75,000 jobs to be filled every year to keep up with the demand for security expertise.

Shu-Pui Li, Executive Director of Financial Infrastructure at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), reiterated how finding people with the right skills to fill these posts is incredibly challenging in the region.

However, other areas of the organisation’s plans to reduce the threat of cyber crime are advancing rapidly. For example, HKMA is developing a ‘non-similar’ facility so that an attack on one payment system cannot simultaneously disable its backup. And the Authority is working hard to encourage businesses to undertake assessments of their critical assets and raise their maturity levels.

Building digital defences.

A thorough review of an organisation’s risk assurance framework can minimise vulnerabilities in the underlying technology assets and strengthen the overall cyber security posture.

Such an assessment can also highlight any gaps, weaknesses and mismatches in existing risk appetites, identifying levels of risk (based on actual value and revenue-at-risk). Digital businesses can then use this knowledge to build a robust cyber-defence strategy which can include the latest protective developments.

As we know from our close partnership with the City of London and its businesses, the right assessment and action provides the Fort Knox of digital safety.

To find out more about our services in North East Asia, visit our webpage, and to explore BT’s cyber security service portfolio in the region, contact Anwar McEntee (anwar.mcentee@bt.com). Alternatively, to investigate how a Cyber Business Risk Assessment for the Financial Services Sector could benefit your organisation, please contact Adam Everett (adam.everett@bt.com).