Lawmakers to discuss cyber attacks

Marketplace Staff Jun 21, 2011
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Lawmakers to discuss cyber attacks

Marketplace Staff Jun 21, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Senators are looking at cyber security and data protection in the financial sector in a hearing today on Capitol Hill. That’s fresh off the heels of a hack of Citibank’s computer system, accessing thousands of accounts. And other attacks of course as well.

Leigh Williams will speak at today’s hearing. He’s president of BITS — a division of the Financial Services Roundtable which serves the electronic banking industry. Good morning, sir.

LEIGH WILLIAMS: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: What are you going to say at today’s hearing?

WILLIAMS: We’ll say that the administration’s comprehensive proposal for cyber security is an excellent opportunity to bring multiple industries, multiple sectors together. Financial services, like a lot of sectors, does a lot of work on its own. We need a little bit more of a comprehensive approach where private and public sector participants can get together on this effort.

CHIOTAKIS: You know, we’ve heard of so many attacks lately — Sony, Sega, then of course Citibank. Do banks take added precautions because so much money is involved?

WILLIAMS: Institutions spend literally tens of billions of dollars on security preventing breaches, detecting them when they occur, and responding — making sure that if we do have a breach, any financial cost to customers and any inconvenience is absolutely minimized.

CHIOTAKIS: But still, Citibank, you know, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of accounts and customers who were affected by that. I mean could you say that perhaps not enough money was put forth in security?

WILLIAMS: I wouldn’t put it in terms of financial investment, I would say there is more to do, there is more to learn, so individual institutions are constantly improving their practices at the industry level. And organizations like mine we try to work together to bring up the standard of the overall industry. There certainly is more to be done.

CHIOTAKIS: Leigh Williams, BITS president, Financial Services Roundtable. Thank you so much, sir.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

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