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Executive Order Calls for Collaboration on Cybersecurity

Many in the financial services and security industries say the threats have become more serious.

Reaction from the financial services security industry has been mostly positive to President Obama's Executive Order designed to improve the nation's cybersecurity.

The Order, signed yesterday and referenced in the State of the Union address, calls for increased information sharing and implementing a number of measures across industries.

Among the measures the Order calls for are expanding the voluntary Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, in order to enable almost real-time sharing of cyber threat information to assist "critical infrastructure companies" in their cyber protection efforts. It also calls for the the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure.

The Order also contains civil liberties safeguards, and directs regulatory agencies to assess their cybersecurity regulations to determine if existing requirements are sufficient, and whether any existing regulations can be eliminated as no longer effective.

BITS, the technology policy division of The Financial Services Roundtable, called the measures "a constructive step forward and we support its fundamental purpose."

“The passage of cybersecurity legislation clarifying the legal authority to share threat information is essential. We look forward to working with Congress to achieve this goal,” said Paul Smocer, President of BITS.

Joram Borenstein, senior director of product marketing at NICE Actimize said that cyber attacks have become more serious and more frequent since the fall of 2012, and the fact that it was mentioned in the State of the Union address proves it is a serious matter for the country.

"The frequency and scale of these attacks is indeed worrisome," he said. "These types of attacks have occurred for quite some time but now they have become almost a daily occurrence. The question remains whether or not these attacks will become a part of daily life for us or whether or not they will force the banks -- and other industries -- finding themselves under attack to allocate resources to fending off such disturbances."

[See Also: The Treasury Department’s Most-Wanted Crime Organizations]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
2/13/2013 | 10:17:07 PM
re: Executive Order Calls for Collaboration on Cybersecurity
I think this is a step in the right direction.- It's going to come down to having effective procedures and mechanisms in place for sharing information between institutions and law enforcement. - Banks talk about gaining a 360 degree view of their customers.- Without information sharing regarding attacks it will be impossible to get a 360 degree view of the cyber criminal.- Attacks against different institutions from the same source could look like a bunch of smaller individual attacks.
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2013 | 8:05:16 PM
re: Executive Order Calls for Collaboration on Cybersecurity
No doubt it's a matter of due diligence to have the NIST, or somebody, "to lead the
development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber
risks to critical infrastructure" At the same time, it's critical that any standards be a baseline upon which the defenders must be encouraged to creatively probe the perimeter and stay a step ahead of the attackers. The danger here is a failure of imagination relative to that of the hackers. There's a great deal at stake here for any financial or other institution that maintains personal information. Not to mix my metaphors too much, but if there was ever a time to circle the wagons, the Wild West of cybercommerce and cybercrime is it.
User Rank: Author
2/13/2013 | 6:44:05 PM
re: Executive Order Calls for Collaboration on Cybersecurity
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, in terms of financial services industry response. Information sharing around security-related issues/threats (especially cyber-security/cyber-threats) is something that everyone agrees is necessary, but it remains to be seen to what extent this actually has happened. And we may never know as banks, understandably, are reluctant to talk publicly about breaches they have experienced and efforts they are taking to prevent breaches and cybercrime.
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