According to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission chair, cyber hacking is the biggest risk facing the world’s financial markets today.
US SEC Chair Mary Jo White made her comments Wednesday at a conference organized by the Reuters news service. She specifically cited the March 2016 theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank. Last week investigators reported a bank in Vietnam was hit with a similar attack, with speculation the attack was also similar to the Sony Pictures data breach in 2014.
Speaking of attacks in the financial services space, White told Reuters, “What we found, as a general matter so far, is a lot of preparedness, a lot of awareness but also their policies and procedures are not tailored to their particular risks. As we go out there now, we are pointing that out.”
SWIFT, the company that handles international banking transfers, patched last month some of the vulnerabilities associated with the Bangladesh attack and gave customers up until last week to patch their systems.
That wasn’t good enough for some. On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase announced it would suspend the use of SWIFT interbank transfers for some of its employees.
The technology and policy division of the bank-backed Financial Services Roundtable, BITS, is working to mediate between the banks and SWIFT, says Bloomberg.