February 13, 2013

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."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 ...