The New York Times reports that, over the past few years, dozens of banks have opened what they call “fusion centers” — windowless, militarized bunkers to play defense against one of the world’s fastest-growing industries: cybercrime.
Mastercard reportedly receives a cyber ambush every 3 seconds, and according to a McAfee study, at least $445B was lost to sneaky cyber bandits last year.
“I’m going for more of a mid-century war room feel”
Banking giants like Citigroup and Wells Fargo took a page out of Homeland Security’s playbook, who set up fusion centers after 9/11 to help coordinate federal, state, and local intelligence gathering.
In these financial fusion centers, banks employ ex-military cyber commandos to riff on strategy and implement some of the very counterintelligence tactics they used in the service.
“Drop down and give me 10 encryption keys”
It’s not just the financial giants who are enlisting either. Cries of cyberwar have made it to smaller ponds as well, as some experts predict cyber damages could cost the world up to $6Tn annually by 2021.
Many regional players like Bank of the West have opened up fusion centers over the years as well, with many more following suit.
With these heavily secured intel bunkers, banks look to detect useful patterns in the mass amounts of data they’re receiving every day to protect us from cyber thieves.