Aimed at Reducing Cyber Risk, US Banking Group Forms a Specialized Unit

A unit to enhance collaboration among its members and the U.S. government as a way to help reduce cyber security threats to the financial system has been formed, announced the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), an influential U.S. financial industry group on Monday.

The FS-ISAC said in a statement that proactively identifying, analyzing, and coordinating activities using more sophisticated techniques would be the primary work of the new unit which will be known as the Financial Systemic Analysis & Resilience Center (FSARC). This would be done through focused operations and enhanced collaboration between participating firms, industry partners, and the U.S. Government, the agency said in the statement.

The FSARC will leverage existing FS-ISAC controls to ensure the protection of private information and foster closer collaboration between large U.S. financial services firms and U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its other activities will continue enhancement and effectiveness of information exchange and sharing of greater sophisticated analysis techniques.

To proactively identify ways to enhance the resilience of the critical infrastructure underpinning much of the U.S. financial system, the CEOs of eight banks – Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo – came together earlier this year. This meeting had resulted in the creation of the FSARC.

Along with that of its government partners, including the Department of Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FSARC leverages the expertise of participating banks’ information/cyber-security teams. This would result in deepening of the analysis being done on identified threats, reducing of systemic risk across critical financial operations and the collective pipeline of intelligence identified through established organizations like FS-ISAC.

The FSARC complements the mission of FS-ISAC, which results in better intelligence for the entire financial sector and is affiliated with FS-ISAC.

“The challenges associated with cyber-attacks and the financial fraud stemming from such incidents are bigger than any one institution, and this is something the financial sector must face together. We are stronger and more resilient when we work collectively to understand the evolving tactics of cyber adversaries and to deepen the layers of defense against such attacks,” said Bill Nelson, President and CEO, FS-ISAC.

“Today marks another important step in making sure the financial industry is addressing these challenges head on.”

Through tactics that prevent, detect, and mitigate malicious cyber activity, in the financial industry’s ongoing commitment to maintaining the integrity of the U.S. financial system, the creation of the FSARC is the latest step. The FSARC is a long-term strategic initiative that performs deep analyses of systemic cyber risk across financial products and practices, complementing established relationships that strengthen partnerships across the private and public sector, such as the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC). Through the FS-ISAC and its membership, findings and adaptable mitigation strategies will be shared across the financial sector.

The FSARC will establish a physical location for the center and adding additional financial institutions that wish to participate in similar efforts and continue to collaborate with its government partners and will expand its operational processes. Until the center reaches full operational capability, the role of interim Co-Presidents would be played by Bank of America’s Siobhan MacDermott and JPMorgan’s Greg Rattray.

(Adapted from PRNewswire)

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