Strengthening Cyber Resilience

BNY Mellon Perspectives Podcast Summary

Strengthening Cyber Resilience

BNY Mellon Perspectives Podcast Summary

April 2020

Just as doctors are trying to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, cybersecurity experts are monitoring, assessing and advising on new techniques to thwart a different kind of invisible invader — cybercrime.


This Perspectives podcast summary features Jeff Lunglhofer, BNY Mellon’s Chief Information Security Officer, and Maria-Kristina Hayden, our Head of Cybersecurity Wargames & Awareness.


An Unchartered Landscape


Even before the onset of the virus, one of the leading annual reports on the cost of cybercrime to global corporations reported that around $5.2 trillion could be at risk over the next five years.1 Economists have yet to assign a multiple to assess at the additional risk now that the coronavirus is sweeping the globe, but no doubt the cost will be staggering.


Cybercriminals are keenly aware that the vast majority of businesspeople around the world are now working from home, according to Jeff Lunglhofer. In our podcast, he says that it’s unprecedented for such a large number of employees to work remotely at the same time. And unfortunately, this situation gives cybercriminals new avenues to exploit.


Combatting All Viruses


With every type of virus, there are specific steps to stem the initial tide of infection. Jeff and Maria recommend “cyber hygiene” countermeasures as the first steps for defense. These measures are everyday best practices to ensure company systems and data are secure, and they include things like routine patching and consistent use of anti-virus software. Employees are accountable and have a key role to play with cyber hygiene too—staying vigilant for suspicious activity, and responsibly safeguarding company and client data.


Building resilience is key in the face of both viruses and cyberattacks. To help prepare for the latter, BNY Mellon maintains and rehearses business continuity and cyber incident response plans in order to prepare for interruptions and outages.

Other Highlights


  • Cyber criminals are aware that companies like ours are changing the way we work. In particular, they are increasingly sending phishing and spear-phishing messages using COVID-19-related subject lines to lure victims into clicking links and divulging information. We all must use common sense and think twice before opening an attachment, clicking a link, or verbally providing company information to a stranger.
  • Of the many cyber defense tools that BNY Mellon wields, our internal program of wargames is one that Hayden says is a firm favorite. Wargames bring Technology teams together with shared services and lines of business to collectively practice response to realistic cyberattack scenarios. They strengthen muscle memory and help ensure staff have the knowledge they need to respond to a real cyber incident.
  • Who should take the lead in combatting cyberthreats? “There’s no way any single company, government or person can defend against the myriad threats,” says Lunglhofer. But if we all work together with the right mix of skills and strategies, we can keep criminals at bay. As Lunglhofer says, “We’re all in this together.”

1“Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study,” Accenture, March 6, 2019.

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