September 14, 2017 / 12:26 PM / 9 days ago

Banks join forces in Gulf to fight cyber security threat

A man types on a computer keyboard in front of the displayed cyber code in this illustration picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/Files

DUBAI (Reuters) - Local and international banks in the United Arab Emirates are sharing information in an effort to reduce cyber attacks.

Gulf banks have invested millions of dollars in boosting cyber security systems in an effort to ward off attempted attacks, which bankers say happen on an almost daily basis.

The most high-profile breach came last year against Qatar National Bank, the largest lender in the region, when criminals posted the names and passwords of customers online.

On Thursday the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) said it was partnering with U.S.-based Anomali to create the Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which it said was the first such initiative in the Middle East.

This will bring together cyber security data from 13 banks to aggregate, correlate and analyse the level of threat.

Banks participating in the scheme are HSBC, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Barclays, Commercial Bank International, Citibank, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Standard Chartered, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Noor Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, Mashreq.

UBF said in a statement that eventually all its members will join the initiative.

Reporting by Tom Arnold; editing by Alexander Smith

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