A group of financial services representatives including buy-side trade body the Investment Company Institute has thrown support behind US government efforts to strengthen protections against cyber crime, while urging scope to serve end-customers.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Homeland Security voted unanimously to approve the National Cyber security and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2013, which outlines provisions to secure critical infrastructure in the event of a cyber attack.
In a letter to the committee, the group of ten financial associations called for the bill to include provisions for financial services firms to continue to protect customers in the wake of a cyber crime event.
“We urge the committee to ensure the bill provides the appropriate balance to protect privacy, while allowing financial institutions to evaluate information for cyber security threats,” the letter read.
Prior to a vote on the bill, committee chairman Michael McCaul praised the efforts of the private sector – including financial services trade bodies and the Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation – in contributing to the bill.
“The cyber threat is real and is happening right now,” he said, adding that cyber attacks represent, “one of the greatest threats we face in the world from a national security standpoint.”
A recent report from Prolexic Technologies, a firm that helps financial services companies combat the most common type of cyber attack, found the risk of such an attack posed to financial services firms has increased in recent years.
The report investigated recent attacks on the financial sector, including those of JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citibank.