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Cybersecurity Act. 25 Aug 2020

BBVA preps employees against new cyberattacks

Corporate virtual security has become even more important as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Cybercriminals have found new opportunities in digitization and remote-working to commit fraud and cyber attacks; companies and employees alike have to be prepared against this risk. To this end, Campus BBVA has trained approximately 2,000 employees using courses, conferences, and discussion groups focused on digitization and tele-working as strategic capabilities that promise to be fundamental during the near future.

The rise in online attacks and fraud has positioned cybersecurity as the core tool for addressing the new reality. In addition, greater technological dependence has made the general public more aware of the need to be careful in the way digital devices are used, personally and even more so professionally.

Even before the pandemic, BBVA already had significant experience in this area, and it was considered a high-priority strategic skill for employee training (and for their families). During the months of confinement caused by the pandemic, the bank made its resources available not only to employees, but to the general public, with workshops and discussion groups that reached out to more than 14,230 people.

Against this backdrop, the bank held ‘Cybertraining Week’, a week to reinforce cybersecurity training content with its employees. Using the Group’s training model, BBVA Campus, workshops and seminars were developed. Pilar Concejo, BBVA head of Training, explains, "BBVA Campus’ major challenge in 2020 is upskilling and reskilling the Group’s professionals, and cybersecurity training is one of our priorities.”

The week consisted of a global event that boasted more than 5,000 connections and was accessed by close to 2,000 employees from across the bank's footprint. Ricardo Forcano, BBVA global head of Engineering and Organization, and Álvaro Garrido, Chief Security Officer (CSO) were on hand for the opening ceremony. “Cybersecurity is a key element of our digital transformation strategy. It is a basic, overarching capability that will be increasingly relevant in the future. And not just for banks, but for any company that is moving forward with the digitalization of its business activity,” Ricardo Forcano said.

One of the most well-received activities of the week were the technological challenges organized in collaboration with Amazon. These challenges involved solving a set of technical security tests in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. In total more than 200 challenges were presented, worked on by more than 1,000 BBVA employees. Another notable activity served to train the bank's global corporate security teams using a technical training exercise. With these kinds of exercises, a virtual cyber attack is simulated in order to test the response capabilities of the teams when faced with this kind of situation.

Seminars and workshops taught employees how hackers operate; tips for optimizing the use of corporate tools to ensure security, and instructions for how to proceed during a cyberattack are also topics that were covered. During the week, parents and children alike were able to test their knowledge by participating in a series of challenges meant to raise awareness about the risks found in social platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and in online applications and games that are popular among young people.

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