A few months ago, a group of Wall Street banks fashioned a risk-manager’s worst nightmare to determine how they would survive. Luckily, it was all pretend.
In a staged simulation called Quantum Dawn 2, bank executives in charge of operations, technology and crisis planning were tasked with detecting how a massive cyber attack was unfolding in the markets – but each one only got to see a tiny red flag waving in a sea of information.
In some cases, a blue-chip stock started to plummet inexplicably. Soon, shocking news about the company hit the market, but unbeknownst to the participant, the news was fake.
For others, trading systems were on the fritz, or government websites stopped functioning. Even basic technology such as telephones and printers stopped working properly for some.
Individually, any of these problems would be reason to worry. The challenge for Quantum Dawn 2′s victims was not only spotting a problem, but communicating with rivals, exchanges and government authorities to conclude that markets were in the throes of a systemic crisis and needed to be shut down.