Bank of Lithuania
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To improve the resilience of the Lithuanian banking sector, the Bank of Lithuania, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Lithuanian Banking Association (LBA) and individual financial market participants are entering a new stage of preparedness: the stakeholders will cooperate by exchanging special information on cyber threats. This is foreseen in the signed multilateral agreement.

“The analysis of the Bank of Lithuania and estimations by financial market participants show an increase in cyberattack risk. Based on the previous experience in anti-money laundering, the most effective way to manage it is by joining forces at the national level. The agreement will help to implement effective measures to combat this phenomenon,” says Simonas Krėpšta, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

On a pilot platform set up by the NCSC, financial market participants who are parties to the agreement will share information on various cybersecurity aspects such as indicators, procedures, warnings, configuration tools and technical data on cyberattacks. This information will be analysed and used for the purposes of threat prevention.

“The activities of fraudsters and their attempts to swindle people out of money or to obtain their banking data in a number of ways has come second for several years in a row according to the number of cyber incidents recorded by the NCSC. The very principles of fraud remain unchanged and are based on the use of human weaknesses or emotions. That is why we are taking necessary action together with financial market participants to reduce the number of cyber incidents,” claims Liudas Ališauskas, Director of the NCSC.
So far, the agreement has been signed by UAB GF bankas, the United Central Credit Union, Luminor Bank AS, operating in Lithuania via its branch, Revolut Bank UAB, AB SEB bankas, UAB SME Bank, Swedbank, AB, and AB Šiaulių bankas.

“Cybersecurity is a top priority for banks and credit unions. The agreement is a step forward in enhancing cooperation between institutions and financial market participants in the field of cybersecurity. And what’s more, the cooperation platform foreseen in the agreement is a sound basis for closer cooperation and fraud prevention. Fraud is an acute problem, thus financial institutions are taking various measures within their competence to fight fraud attacks,” says PhD Eivilė Čipkutė, President of the LBA.

According to the President of the LBA, fraud prevention has already produced results. The latest statistics show that more funds are protected against fraudsters. However, offenders are persistently increasing the volume of attacks and using various methods and technology. “The agreement will help market participants to exchange relevant information and implement preventive measures together with partners even more effectively,” says PhD Eivilė Čipkutė.

The Bank of Lithuania notes that since the launch of russia’s war against Ukraine, the number of cyber incidents has significantly gone up, and the financial system has increasingly become the target of their attacks. The likelihood of attacks remains high, therefore financial institutions must continue to enhance their resilience to cyberattacks and increase investment in the security of IT systems. A Bank of Lithuania survey shows that financial institutions have attached increasing importance to this risk. Every fifth respondent claims to have encountered cyberattacks last year.

In 2022, financial market participants reported 23 cyber incidents (DDoS and ransomware attacks, other malicious activity) to the Bank of Lithuania. Some of them are related to pro-russian groups.