Capitol Hill Pushes for Enhanced Bank Data Security

October 31st, 2014

Last week, on October 21, 2014, the bipartisan heads of the influential Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs sent a letter to the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) urging regulators to take a more active role in ensuring the security of United States (US) financial system.

Citing the recent cyber attacks on JP Morgan Chase, Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D – SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R – ID) expressed concerns with the vulnerabilities in the financial sector’s current cybersecurity regime.  The JP Morgan Chase breach resulted in the compromising of personal data for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.  The two senators requested a description of what each respective regulator is doing to maintain the security of the financial system.

Conversely, the letter also requested an explanation of what the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) are doing to supervise banks’ own internal measures and ensure that banks have adequate planning, cybersecurity defenses and risk mitigation tools in place.

The bipartisan support for this cause foreshadows increased pressure from Capitol Hill during the next congressional session on regulators and banks alike to maintain robust cybersecurity programs.