What is the CORIE Framework V2

Nitesh Bhatta
December 20, 2022


Cyber attacks are repeatedly among the top risks to Australian financial institutions and lead to considerable financial loss and reputational damage. Moreover, serious attacks have the potential to impact the stability of the Australian financial system itself. Proactive cyber resilience within financial institutions is, therefore, fundamental to adapt to and defend against an ever-evolving threat landscape. To help achieve this, the CORIE framework was established, delivering a program of threat intelligence-led exercises to simulate real-life attacks and assess cyber maturity. With the help of the framework, financial institutions can improve their ability to detect, respond, and recover from cyber attacks.


In December 2020, the Council of Financial Regulators released CORIE (Cyber Operational Resilience Intelligence-led Exercises), a regulatory framework aimed at improving the cybersecurity resilience in the Australian financial system through the preparation and execution of industry-wide cyber resilience experiences. The framework takes international best practice, including the CBEST and TIBER EU frameworks, and applies an Australian context to ensure impact and relevance. After a pilot program involving the participation of multiple financial institutions from late 2020 to late 2021, an updated version was released in July 2022 (CORIE framework v2.0). While some changes were implemented, the key pillars of the framework continue to include gathering threat intelligence to lead and shape adversary simulations. By focusing on being intelligence-led, the CORIE guidelines ensure to incorporate current events, industry-specific threats and up-to-date intelligence to simulate real-world attacks.


The CORIE framework was created to use targeted threat intelligence to build goal-focused ‘red team’ scenarios to test and demonstrate the cyber resilience level of financial institutions. Similar schemes have been formed by central banks in overseas jurisdictions. By simulating realistic adversary tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), CORIE aims to measure a financial intuition’s true capability to detect and respond to an attack, maintain critical business processes and protect sensitive data. CORIE is able to mimic adversaries through fewer traditional testing restrictions and a longer time duration. As a result, the framework aims to complement traditional security testing programs and provide a true measure of resilience; it aims to drive businesses to develop a more proactive approach against the constantly changing landscape of real-life cyber attacks, such as those launched by state-sponsored adversaries.


Exercises within the CORIE framework must be conducted by independent providers to offer an unbiased perspective, following which a report is presented to highlight vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The framework outlines each of the activities and exercises in detail. However, there are four key elements that fall within this:

  1. Attack Preparation - threat intelligence-based sceneries are critical to the CORIE exercises. Specific testing scenarios are based on the attack patterns and TTPs or known threat actors.
  2. Attack Execution - this is the scenario-based adversary simulation where most of the activity happens. Expert computer specialists emulate the behaviour and attack patterns of threat actors as outlined in the prepared testing scenarios.
  3. Reporting - results from the execution stage are reported and transformed into useful, actionable guidance to help improve resilience. The report should be relevant to all levels of the business, enabling them to understand the detailed outcomes of the exercises.
  4. Post Attack - gold and purple team exercises are essential to delivering an end-to-end process. Purple team exercises allow businesses to break the exercise attack chains down, identify TTPs and uplift response. Meanwhile, gold team exercises give leadership teams an opportunity to test incident response and fully understand the context of reports.


As targeted cyber-attacks against financial institutions are more prevalent than ever, comprehensive security testing is fundamental. Not all organisations are required to immediately conduct CORIE exercises and not all will be ready for the maturity needed to conduct them. However, it’s valuable to conduct a CORIE readiness assessment, assess your cyber maturity and implement appropriate CORIE-aligned exercises.

Here at Infotrust we offer security assurance services, including Penetration Testing and Red Teaming. To find out more, contact the cybersecurity experts at Infotrust today.