The financial crisis that erupted in 2007 highlighted how important trust is for the global system and how fragile it can be. The 2016 Bangladesh central bank cyber incident exposed a new threat to financial stability and the unprecedented scale of the risk that malicious cyber actors pose to financial institutions. Beyond theft, using cyber operations to manipulate the integrity of data, in particular, poses a distinct and greater set of systemic risks than other forms of financial coercion. The complex and interdependent character of the financial system and its transcendence of physical and national boundaries mean that manipulating the integrity of financial institutions' data can, intentionally and/or unintentionally, threaten financial stability and the stability of the international system. Importantly, unlike the 2007-2008 global crisis, this risk exists independent of the underlying economic fundamentals and will only increase as more and more governments make cashless economies an explicit goal. The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors should be commended for urging improvements in the resilience of the global financial system in their March 2017 communique. In a next step, the G20 member states could commit their countries explicitly to refrain from using offensive cybertools to corrupt the integrity of data in the financial system and to cooperate when such attacks do occur.
G20 cybersecurity financial stability data integrity financial institutions