Key findings of the Quantum Dawn 3 cybersecurity exercise published

Published: Thursday, 26 November 2015 10:00

SIFMA has published a summary of the key findings derived from its Quantum Dawn 3 cybersecurity exercise held on September 16, 2015. This After-Action Report was developed by Deloitte Advisory Cyber Risk Services. SIFMA engaged Deloitte Advisory to serve as an objective observer of the exercise and assist in identifying key takeaways and recommendations for enhancing the financial services sector's protocols for responding to a large-scale cyberattack.

Over 650 participants from over 80 US financial institutions and government agencies participated in this exercise, including key industry and government partners such as the US Department of the Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal regulators and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC).

During Quantum Dawn 3, participants first experienced organization-specific attacks, such as a distributed denial of service attack, a domain name system poisoning or breach of personally identifiable information. These attacks were followed by rolling attacks upon equity exchanges and alternative trading systems that disrupted equity trading without forcing a close. The concluding attack scenario was a failure of the overnight settlement process at a clearinghouse.

The After-Action Report highlights include:

All respondents to the post-simulation survey indicated their organization felt more prepared after the exercise than before.

The After-Action Report also made recommendations for enhancing the internal firm and sector-wide processes in response to a large-scale attack:

Internal firm response:

Market-wide coordination:

Public/private interaction:

The full After-Action Report summary of key findings is available here (PDF).