20 Oct 2020

Banks need stronger cyber security - RBNZ

12:48 pm on 20 October 2020

The Reserve Bank is taking steps to ensure banks and other regulated financial services improve their cyber security.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Reserve Bank deputy governor Geoff Bascand - responsible for financial stability - said improving cyber resilience had become a key priority for regulators around the world.

The central bank's draft guidance on the topic would apply to all the entities it regulated and draws heavily from international and national cybersecurity standards and guidelines.

"As cyber risk continues to rise, there is growing awareness that cyber incidents could present risks to the stability of the entire financial system," Bascand said.

He said the recent spate of cyber attacks across New Zealand was a reminder of the disruption they can cause.

"Last November we announced an evolution in our policy stance towards taking a more proactive interest in improving the cyber resilience of the financial sector in New Zealand."

Consultation on the draft closes 29 January, with the final guidance to be released early next year.

"We are open to feedback on the guidance, but we expect it will be useful for firms as they develop their own frameworks to address the cyber risks they face," he said.