Hybrid threats also need to be prepared for in the financial sector

A functioning financial system maintains the functioning of the economy and society; Finland, as President of the EU Council, will raise the new threats to the financial markets and the fight against them at the political level.

Member State Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will discuss the issue at their informal meeting in Helsinki on 13-14 December. September.

Cyber ​​attacks, pressure and misinformation

In hybrid threats, state or non-state actors use different methods in a coordinated manner to achieve a specific objective without exceeding the threshold for declaring a state of war. Threats can include a variety of coercive and security measures, as well as traditional and new methods, which may be diplomatic, military, economic and technical.

Hybrid actions include cyber-attacks and campaigns to spread misinformation and social unrest. Actions can aim to influence critical societal systems, such as access to energy or telecommunications.

Telecommunication connections vulnerable

Hybridization may also affect financial markets. The financial market is a vulnerable target because it relies on real-time international communications connections and systems and on public confidence.

A well-planned and targeted attack on critical parts of the financial system will hit the knees of society as a whole. Even a brief disruption can cause major financial damage and incite fear.  

The EU has identified the functioning of the financial system as one of the critical areas within the strategic framework for combating hybrid threats. However, Member States have not previously discussed the issue at the political level and efforts have focused on improving the technical exchange of information on cyber threats.

Infrastructure must be protected

Combating hybrid threats combines both internal and external security, so we need close cooperation between authorities in many different fields. The Finnish initiative to prepare for hybrid threats in the financial sector is part of a broader package that will be discussed at several Presidency meetings. This is one of the priorities of the Finnish season.

It is important for us to protect Europe's critical infrastructure in order to combat hybrid threats. The financial markets must also be taken into account in this work. On the other hand, it is also essential for the stability of financial markets that hybrid threats are identified through supervision, regulation and risk management by market participants.

Jaakko Weuro

Specialist, Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union

jaakko.weuro (at) formin.fi



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