Bank of Lithuania
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Technological innovations not only offer new possibilities for users of financial services but also require special regulators’ attention in terms of risk management and cross-border cooperation. Such arguments are put forward by Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, who is participating in a Lithuanian-Polish economic forum discussion on cyber security challenges for the financial sector.

‘Lithuania was the first country in the euro area to conduct a cyber security exercise of the national banking system in 2017. This year, we will focus not only on testing cyber resilience of the largest financial institutions but also on that of new market participants – particularly FinTech companies,’ said Vitas Vasiliauskas.

Cooperating with financial institutions, this year the Bank of Lithuania plans to conduct a cyber stress-testing and prepare minimum information, IT and cyber security requirements. It also intends to strengthen cooperation with Lithuanian and EU institutions working in the cyber security field, aiming to enhance information sharing on cyber incidents.

According to Mr Vasiliauskas, it is also essential to make sure that the regulators of strategic partner countries like Poland and Lithuania exchange information in relation to cyber threats effectively, and implement coordinated measures to ensure financial system security.

Heightened attention to the cyber resilience of FinTech firms should be seen as an integral part of Lithuania’s efforts to become a regional FinTech hub. This goal requires ensuring a supportive regulatory environment, while at the same time guaranteeing adequate security standards.

Bearing this in mind, the Bank of Lithuania scrutinizes the potential cyber risks related to the application of cloud computing within the financial sector, as well as to the ongoing regulatory shift towards ‘open banking’. Technological innovations bring new cyber security risks into the financial sector, with most of them still not being fully recognized at this point. The Bank of Lithuania has been putting substantial efforts into preparing to manage them properly.

The first Lithuanian-Polish economic forum takes place on 25–26 April 2018. During the event, politicians, public sector and business representatives from both countries will seek ways to promote bilateral economic cooperation and discuss cyber security, energy and transport issues of relevance to Lithuania and Poland.