While market watchers keep wondering when and if The Fed might announce an interest rate hike, the President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, Esther George, recently announced that it was attacks on the security of the payment system that had been going up, unacceptably so, and the Fed intended to fight back.
“We must keep pace with the rapidly evolving and expanding risks that threaten the payments ecosystem,” George said, in remarks that were reported on CNBC and elsewhere.
To do this, there are now two task forces made up of both private and public officials, looking into ways to not only make payments in the U.S. move faster, but give them more pronounced security features along the way.
According to Pymnts.com, “the Federal Reserve is beginning a review of 19 proposals from two national payment industry task forces charged with identifying a potentially faster U.S. payments system. There are close to 500 members in the two task forces, one of which focuses on faster payment capabilities while the other is considering how to enhance security in payment systems. The member of the two groups include representatives of financial institutions, consumer groups, payment service providers, fintech firms, businesses, and government agencies.”
And the Federal Times reports that it wasn’t only the Fed, but the Treasury Department as well, saying “cyber threats present a set of pressing operational, reputational and financial stability risks facing the international financial system. Sovereign borders do not contain these threats, and accordingly, nations must work together to address them,” citing Treasury Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, co-chair of the G-7 Cyber Expert Group, from her own statement on the topic.
The Times notes though that “finance ministers and central bank governors from the G-7, or Group of Seven countries—which include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S.—developed the cybersecurity elements to provide basic guides for building a cybersecurity strategy.”
Among those guidelines are:
Response: Assess the nature, breadth and urgency of a cyber incident; mitigate its impact; notify all stakeholders and coordinate accordingly.
Recovery: Resume operation as quickly as possible, by restoring data and the viability of systems, while preventing repeat events through remediation of identified “weak spots.”
Information Sharing: As with notifying stakeholders when an incident occurs, continue to provide timely, actionable information on threats, vulnerabilities and responses to incidents.
We will have more in the new year, when the Fed gets their own set of recommendations and actions, and we’ll hope for a holiday season that manages to stay free of any new, major “cyber incidents.”
You won’t even have to wait on the Fed’s report — we’ll answer the phone, or return that email, right away!