Israeli Banks Seek to Set Up Joint Cybersecurity Center

Five largest banks are awaiting the antitrust commissioner’s response.

Dreamstime

Israel’s five largest banks are planning a joint cybersecurity center through Shva, the clearinghouse that they own.

Although the plan has gotten the approval of the Bank of Israel, the five banks involved — Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot and First International Bank of Israel — are awaiting the antitrust commissioner’s response.

In related news, a problem that prevented Hapoalim customers from accessing customer services through the bank’s website on Sunday morning has been fixed. The bank’s spokeswoman did not say what caused the problem. It could have been caused by a technical glitch or might have been deliberately carried out by the bank to head off an attempt by hackers to gain access its computer system.

In the financial reports the bank released on Thursday, Hapoalim noted the risks associated with information security and cyber attacks. “In recent years, there has been an increase in the frequency and seriousness of the cybernetic incidents to which the bank has been exposed,” the report stated, adding that despite major efforts the bank is taking to prevent such problems, there is no such thing as complete protection from cyber attacks.