City of London Police Commissioner calls on financial centres to act now and prevent a major cyber attack

Posted On 20 Nov 2014
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N3872International financial centres, Governments and law enforcement must work closely together to prevent organised criminals and terrorist organisations from bringing global markets to a standstill with a massive cyber attack. This was the message delivered by City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard when he appeared as the keynote speaker at the Financial Crimes and Cyber Security Symposium in New York.

Hosted by the New York County District Attorney’s Office and held in the Federal Reserve Bank, the event was attended by more than 300 delegates from the world of policing, finance and public and private sector cyber security.

Commissioner Leppard, whose UK force is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, highlighted the increasingly sophisticated fraud and cyber threats facing world financial centres, with a particular focus on the City of London and Wall Street. He pinpointed the risks posed by state-sponsored espionage and terrorism using highly complex malware” such as Ransomware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks” to threaten the integrity of trading platforms and major deals.

Commissioner Leppard also stated it’s now vital that law enforcement and financial institutions share information on the current threats. He called for companies to be legally obliged to report to the authorities when they have fallen victim to a cyber attack and thereby ensure steps can be taken to protect other financial institutions and target the offenders.

In recognition of the rapidly evolving and expanding threats to the global financial districts, including London and New York, the City of London Police and the New York County District Attorney’s Office are to forge a closer alliance. From Spring 2015, there will be a staff exchange programme between the two agencies aimed at developing greater operational collaboration, intelligence sharing and de-briefing of investigative Best Practice.

This development comes hot on the heels of the City of London Police signing an agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland to have financial experts from the bank providing specialist advice and guidance under the force’s new Corporate Volunteer Consultancy Scheme.

Determination of international criminals

Speaking from New York, Commissioner Leppard said:” We cannot underestimate the determination of international criminals, operating alone or as part of serious organised crime gangs or terrorist organisations, to launch a major strike against our financial centres, particularly in London and New York. It’s therefore crucial we take a proactive approach to this threat by putting in place the technical and legal systems that will keep trading platforms secure from malware and prevent companies from being compromised by a rogue employee or weak IT systems.”

The Commissioner continued:” The agreement signed by the City of London Police and the New York County District Attorney is another important step in the right direction, bringing the people who protect the Square Mile and Wall Street closer together and ensuring we’re doing everything we can to thwart what has become a common enemy.”

New York County District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Junior added:” An increasingly close connection between cyber crime and financial crime means that co-operation is more important than ever. Our international partnerships, in particular our ongoing collaboration with Commissioner Leppard and the City of London Police, reflect a changing landscape and the understanding that cyber criminal attacks will not be limited by state or national borders. This is why it’s essential for financial institutions, Governments and law enforcement agencies to work together in protecting the integrity of our markets and financial systems as well as our citizens.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.