IMF calls for a global response to cyber security threats
13 enero 2020


Cybersecurity. On January 13, David Lipton, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that threats to cyber security require a coordinated global response. The U.S. economist also said that “addressing a global threat with local resources will not be enough,” so “countries need to do more to coordinate their efforts.” Given this scenario, the IMF’s proposal is to gain a better understanding of the existing risks and to improve collaborative schemes to promote more coherent regulatory approaches at the international level.

The IMF points out that the private sector offers many good examples of cooperation to be taken into account, as well as the role played by international bodies such as the G7 Cyber Experts Group and the Basel Committee. Lipton explains that these spaces are “raising awareness and identifying sound practices for financial sector supervisors.” The IMF identifies four areas in which the international community may join together to boost work at the national level:

  • Gain more insight into the origin of threats, their nature and how they can affect financial stability.
  • Improve information exchange between the public and private sectors by reducing barriers that prevent banks from reporting problems to their supervisors.
  • Reduce the inconsistencies in standards, regulations and terminology between countries to achieve greater communication.
  • Generate response protocols for national and cross-border cyber crises, in order to be able to respond as well as recover operations as soon as possible.

Lipton stresses that a cyber attack can come from anywhere in the world, or from many places at once, so “protocols for responding to the crisis must be articulated within regions and at the global level.” In turn, these scenarios pose a challenge for the head of the institution that requires international attention in small or developing countries, since they depend on the financial services provided by global banks for financial connection. “The development of cross-border response protocols will help countries understand their respective roles in a crisis and ensure a coordinated response in case of a crisis,” Lipton concluded.

Next steps

The IMF highlights the work done by the G7 countries to collaborate on cybersecurity and suggests that this effort should be extended to each and every country. It is hoped that this international financial organization will take these concerns to developing countries with emerging markets, considering that any place is a good starting point for a cyber attack and that advanced economies seek to share information, coordinate actions and create new response capacities in other nations. According to this entity, the future goal is to take advantage of new technologies to develop markets and expand financial inclusion, while improving knowledge of the risks to which the financial system is exposed and enhancing regulatory consistency so that collaborative schemes can ensure the security of information and communication technologies.