SEC Chair Tabs Cybercrime as Biggest Threat to Financial System
SEC head Mary Jo White called cybercrime the biggest threat to the world’s financial markets. Speaking at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, D.C., this week, White said that some major financial exchanges, dark pools and clearing houses lack defenses that are up to the challenge presented by today’s increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals.
“What we found, as a general matter so far, is a lot of preparedness, a lot of awareness but also their policies and procedures are not tailored to their particular risks,” White cautioned.
Cybersecurity experts called White’s remarks a landmark declaration about the threat posed by cybercrime. Tom Kellermann, a former member of the World Bank’s security team and current CEO of investment firm Strategic Cyber Ventures LLC, called her address “a historic recognition of the systemic risk facing Wall Street,” according to Reuters.
White’s comments came in the wake of the February cyberheist of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, which was perpetrated through SWIFT, the interbank system for handling cross-border electronic payments. Vietnam’s TPBank said this week that it interrupted a similar SWIFT-based attack late last year. While some banks have called for SWIFT to improve its security, the cooperative maintains that the attacks succeeded due to lax security controls at member banks.