Jan 28 2015

Cybersecurity and Compliance Can Help Financial Services Win the Cyberwar

Public and private partnerships between regulatory agencies and financial services organizations should improve compliance and strengthen data security.

Compliance can often be seen as a nuisance rather than an asset, but in an age where financial services organizations face increased threats from hackers, compliance might turn out to be a good, reliable ally.

By ensuring stricter compliance, regulatory agencies are trying to prevent or mitigate damages from major data breaches. According to the Winter 2014 FinTalk Report, the SEC Chair Mary Jo White sees a “compelling need for stronger partnerships between the government and the private sector”:

The SEC has released a Risk Alert indicating that examinations of 50 broker-dealers and registered investment advisors will focus on areas related to cybersecurity.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) has called for a cyberwar council to battle terrorist attacks that could trigger financial panic.

Credit unions, whose top priorities for 2014 are security and compliance, were put on the alert when the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council announced that regulators are focusing on how the institutions manage cyber risks.

For any IT leaders at financial services organizations who think the threat of cyberwarfare won’t touch their doorsteps, consider these three stats from the FinTalk Report:

  • 53 percent of bank managers say frequency of cyberattacks is on the rise.

  • 57 percent of bank managers say sophistication of cyberattacks is on the rise.

  • 49 percent of banks experienced a cybersecurity attack in the past 12 months, but just 5 percent of customers are aware.

So attacks on financial services IT are not only increasing; they’re also getting more sophisticated and going undetected.

To learn more about the technology challenges and opportunities financial services IT workers are facing, read the full 2014 Winter FinTalk Report.


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