June 26, 2017

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OP-ED: Treasury Executive Order Report Key on Cyber Improvements

Harmonization and collaboration on cybersecurity will promote meaningful results and outcomes and drive a more complete view of the industry’s security and preparedness while still affirming financial services regulators respective oversight responsibilities.

OP-ED: Treasury Executive Order Report Key on Cyber Improvements
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OP-ED: Treasury Executive Order Report Key on Cyber Improvements

Cybersecurity is at the very core of the financial services industry — from enabling customers to access their data online, to monitoring websites and apps, to securing ATMs and points of sale, there’s not a financial services firm that doesn’t count cybersecurity among its highest priorities.

Regulations need to reflect the dynamic and evolving nature of the threats that exist to essential business and sector operations, and this month’s Treasury Department report on modernizing financial regulations is a critical step in the right direction, calling for harmonization of these multiple regulations. Harmonization and collaboration on cybersecurity will promote meaningful results and outcomes and drive a more complete view of the industry’s security and preparedness while still affirming financial services regulators respective oversight responsibilities.

A consistent set of core questions and diagnostics that leave room for uniqueness amongst financial services regulators will enable more robust examination outputs, higher quality information and more efficient cybersecurity operations. When regulatory rules or guidelines are notionally similar but semantically different, it can lead to firms having to rewrite risk and operational policies, change their organizational structure or create new reporting mechanisms. All of that gets affected through the differences in language, and ultimately impacts the firm’s ability to best serve customers.

As new and emerging technologies continue to develop, a regulatory and congressional approach that allows for growth and innovation, securely, will be essential to enhancing the customer experience and increasing consumers’ access to their financial tools and services.

Prioritization of cybersecurity requires not only a nimble regulatory approach spurred by harmonization, as noted in the Treasury Department’s report on modernizing financial regulations, but a long-term commitment and an increased investment of resources from both the public and private sectors.

 

To Read the Full Op-Ed on Morning Consult, click here.

 

Chris Feeney is the president of BITS, the technology policy division of the Financial Services Roundtable.