Edited by Benton E. Gup
Chapter 3: Innovating to new heists: regulating cyber threats in the financial services industry
Cyberattacks have multiplied exponentially in recent years. Evidence suggests that a new kind of war is emerging and the targets of the cyber missiles – governments, corporations, and citizens geographically dispersed in countries around the world – cannot afford to lose. Whether the attacker is a 16 year old working from his parents’ basement to penetrate the firewalls of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Department of Defense or Pentagon, a small group of sophisticated Ocean’s Eleven heisters, an elite force or state-sponsored special operations team engaged in military or corporate espionage, or a politically motivated group of non-state actors, cyber enemies tend to be sophisticated, agile, and ubiquitous. The architecture of modern markets makes financial institutions critical to global commerce and to the operations of local, state, national, and foreign governments. The universe of financial institutions is broad. It includes conventional depository banks, as well as securities, commodities, and derivatives platforms or exchanges; investment banks, hedge, pension, and mutual funds; brokerage firms; and, in some cases, insurance companies. Pursuant to federal regulation and consistent with their business models, large financial institutions acquire, collect, and retain significant volumes of personal information. Possession of and control over this sensitive data makes financial institutions and retailers highly-attractive targets for hackers.
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