Feb 7 Wall Street's Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority is looking at the measures that brokerages
are taking to protect their businesses and customers against
cyber security threats, the industry-funded regulator said.
FINRA, which conducts periodic "sweeps," or targeted checks
on Wall Street brokerages, is conducting the review, in part,
because of the growing threat to information technology systems
from "a variety of sources," it wrote in a letter on its website
Those threats also pose a risk to the U.S. financial system,
Cyber attacks have hit millions of customers of well-known
retailers including Target Corp and Neiman Marcus.
Last week, Target revealed that the theft of
credentials from an undisclosed vendor helped the attackers gain
access to about 40 million credit and debit card records and
another 70 million customer accounts.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials said on
Jan. 30 that the agency plans to scrutinize whether asset
managers have policies in place to prevent and detect cyber
attacks and are properly safeguarding against security risks
posed by vendors having access to their systems.
FINRA's letter included requests for information about their
plans to keep business running in case of a cyber-attack,
insurance coverage for problems related to cyber security, and
details about the impact of cyber-attacks on the firms during
the past year. The regulator also wants details about firms'
relationships with outside vendors.
FINRA plans to report back to the industry about its
It is unclear how many firms FINRA will review during the
process. A spokeswoman was not immediately able to comment.