Leading American financial regulator increasing focus on cybersecurity

September 23, 2014 Arctic Wolf Networks

Leading American Financial Regulator Increasing Focus on Cybersecurity

In a recent speech at Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the Department of Financial Services for the state of New York, said that the agency is planning to increase its focus on cybersecurity. Lawsky went on to say that as a financial regulator, the possibility of being confronted with an “Armageddon-like cyber event” is one of his primary concerns and cyberterrorism is one of the most pressing issues the agency will face over the next year.

The U.S. was hit with multiple high-profile data breaches this year, resulting in the exposure of millions of Americans’ credit and debit card data. Several major institutions fell victim to cyberattacks in recent months, including Target, Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase. In most of the attacks, there was a common theme of the breaches not only being massive in size but also persisting over the course of multiple months.

“Cybersecurity experts will tell you when they get in a room with a bunch of CEOs to talk about this, there’s only two types of people they meet: people who have been hacked and know it and people who have been hacked and don’t know it,” said Lawsky. “In other words, it’s that prevalent. The sophistication of the hackers is that great that they’re breaking into everything. And it thus feels to the really – to a lot of people like only a matter of time before we have something more systemic, more problematic, more coordinated.”

Increasing pressure on organizations to implement responsible cybersecurity
New York’s Department of Financial Services has only been in operation for three years, but the agency has already been responsible for levying increased fines and insisting on greater executive accountability by banks. As part of their efforts to encourage greater oversight by of financial institutions, DFS fined French banks BNP Paribas a record $9 billion for going against U.S. sanctions and doing business with Iran and Sudan.

Lawsky said the vulnerabilities presented by the financial sectors’ use of technology are presenting immediate and potentially catastrophic problems facing the industry.

“I worry that we’re going to have some sort of major cyber-event in the financial system that’s going to cause us all to shudder,” said Lawsky in his speech.

Lawsky went on to say that his agency is working toward a way to provide market participants an incentive to defend their organizations from cybercriminals. One proposed tactic is to encourage insurance companies to raise their requirements for firms to qualify for protection against data breaches.

Major data breaches affecting high-profile organizations and financial institutions are only going to become more common, and it is growing increasingly necessary for these companies to implement security solutions that will protect their clients’ privileged information. For large businesses that can be attacked from a variety of entry points, security information and event management services are a reliable way to keep an eye on networks around the clock and provide actionable data about cybersecurity threats. With concierge SIEM services, businesses can ensure they will know about the presence of malicious actors as soon as they appear and be able to minimize their effects.

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