UAE Banks Federation launches threat intelligence sharing platform for banks in the UAE

13 founding banks to share cyber security intelligence in new UBF-ISAC, powered by Anomali Threat Stream

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the professional representative body comprising 48 member banks operating in the UAE, has today launched its first Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), powered by Anomali, provider of market-leading threat intelligence platforms.

It will initially bring together 13 banks’ cyber security data in Anomali’s ThreatStream platform. This will aggregate, correlate, and analyse threat data from multiple sources in real-time to support defensive actions. Founding members include HSBC, CBD, ADCB, Barclays, CBI, Citibank, ENBD, FAB, Mashreq, Noorbank, SCB, ADIB, and NBF. Professional body UBF and the ISAC are set to grow in a phased approach to encompass all of UBF’s member banks.

“We are proud to bring the 2017 Cyber Threat Intelligence Initiative into implementation; our partnership with Anomali to build this platform will allow banks to get quipped with the tools and intelligence to better identify, protect, detect and respond to cyber-attacks. It will help to establish the importance and value of seamlessly collecting, sharing and analysing data, while allowing for anonymous reporting. Together, we can then reduce sensitive data exposure and make more informed decisions and investment strategies,” said HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF.

At the launcing press conference, Al Ghurair further clarified that commencing with a membership of 13 banks for the platform, UBF expects this number will grow to include all 48 banks in the UAE, members of the Dubai International Financial Centre as well as the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and then on to other financial institutions that wish to join and perhaps much later, look at the possibility to partner with others in the region.

The new UBF-ISAC lays the foundations for a fruitful relationship, and aims to enhance the understanding of threat intelligence, showcase the value of collaboration, and provide ongoing training.

The ISAC is powered by Anomali’s Threat Stream platform, which helps to order and interpret the ever growing amount of threat data available to organizations from internal and third-party sources. It aggregates threat intelligence, enriches and dedupes it, removes false positives, and builds clusters of relating information. In addition to streamlining threat information sharing and collaboration, the ISAC will enable members to apply context to intelligence, where breach details shared quickly could mean the difference in someone else being attacked.
Ensuring anonymity, the platform aims to encourage the sharing of information in a collegiate manner on issues such as: where an attack came from, best practices to address such attacks and ways in which hackers manage to attract data.

“We’re excited to enter this first of its kind partnership. The UAE is the financial services hub for the Middle East and it’s essential that it takes the lead in embracing threat intelligence sharing,” commented Jamie Stone, VP EMEA at Anomali. “The Middle East has seen a sharp uptick in cyber-attacks recently, so the adoption of new, technologically advanced processes is paramount and sharing intelligence bolsters defenses exponentially.