Government and industry action against cyber attacks isn’t moving fast enough for Wall Street. Now banks are proposing a cyber war council to defend against future threats to their data.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) has submitted a proposal for a committee of executives to protect banks from cyber terrorism. The group would work on active defence strategies and speedy communication between agencies and the private sector, if an attack were to occur.
The members would come from the Treasury Department, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and other U.S. agencies. Already on board to help facilitate these efforts are former NSA director Keith Alexander and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.
In the document, Sifma explains that because the financial markets are so dependent on the electric grid, any cyber attacks that wipe out accounts could cause widespread panic. The recovery of the accounts would be “difficult and slow,” and could lead to a loss of investor confidence and bank runs.
Cybersecurity have been a growing concern for Wall Street banks. Last year, the Financial Times reported more than half of the security exchanges in the world fought off cyber attacks in the past year.
Here are Bloomberg’s excerpts from the document:
The systemic consequences could well be devastating for the economy as the resulting loss of confidence in the security of individual and corporate savings and assets could trigger widespread runs on financial institutions that likely would extend well beyond the directly impacted banks, securities firms and asset managers.
We are concerned that the industry may not have the capabilities that we would like to effectively defend against this newer form of potential attack, the capability that we would like to stop such an attack once commenced from spreading to other financial institutions, or the capability we would like of effectively recovering if an initial attack is followed by waves of follow-on attacks.
The core problem is that if transformers and critical equipment were destroyed at these sites, it could take months to build the replacement equipment.
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