Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 04 December 2017 10:24

US banks plan for day when big digital attack hits


Banks in the US have been setting up a system that they hope will be able to prevent a run on financial institutions in the event of a massive digital attack on any major institution.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the effort, which had begun this year under the name Sheltered Harbor, covered banks and credit unions which had about 400 million American accounts.

It said that while people feared theft of money, banks had a greater fear of data being encrypted by a rogue attack.

This would lead to lengthy delays in gaining access to banking systems and the chance that one attack would lead to fears about other institutions and a subsequent run on all of them.

The banks mostly feared that even the government would be unable to hose down the fear around a digital break-in, the report said.

Existing measures to restore faith in the financial system were designed for situations where the solvency or liquidity of one or more institutions was under question, and did not address a situation where access to financial data had been lost.

The WSJ said a 2015 exercise known as the Hamilton Series had shown that when data was disrupted at a smaller bank, it could have an adverse impact on the entire system.

The Sheltered Harbor initiative was the brainchild of Phil Venables, chief operational risk officer at Goldman Sachs, and James Rosenthal, Morgan Stanley’s former chief operating officer. Venables and Rosenthal jointly chair Sheltered Harbor.

In order to be part of the project, banks pay anything from US$250 to US$25,000 annually, depending on their size. They have to follow guidelines on formatting data, creating a back-up vault and submitting to audits.

Sheltered Harbor aims to provide backed-up data for use to cover those affected by an attack on an institution within 48 hours.


Recently iTWire remodelled and relaunched how we approach "Sponsored Content" and this is now referred to as "Promotional News and Content”.

This repositioning of our promotional stories has come about due to customer focus groups and their feedback from PR firms, bloggers and advertising firms.

Your Promotional story will be prominently displayed on the Home Page.

We will also provide you with a second post that will be displayed on every page on the right hand side for at least 6 weeks and also it will appear for 4 weeks in the newsletter every day that goes to 75,000 readers twice daily.



Some of the most important records are paper-based documents that are slow to issue, easy to fake and expensive to verify.

Digital licenses and certificates, identity documents and private citizen immunity passports can help you deliver security and mobility for citizens’ information.

Join our webinar: Thursday 4th June 12 midday East Australian time


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



Recent Comments