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The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members are taking a number of initiatives to raise the awareness of financial institutions and their critical third-party service providers with respect to cybersecurity risks and the need to identify, assess, and mitigate these risks in light of the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber threats.
Financial institutions are increasingly dependent on information technology and telecommunications to deliver services to consumers and business every day. Disruption, degradation, or unauthorized alteration of information and systems that support these services can affect operations, institutions, and their core processes, and undermine confidence in the nation's financial services sector.
In June 2013, the FFIEC announced the creation of the Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Working Group to enhance communication among the FFIEC member agencies and build on existing efforts to strengthen the activities of other interagency and private sector groups. In addition, the FFIEC began assessing and enhancing the state of the industry preparedness and identifying gaps in the regulators' examination procedures and training that can be closed to strengthen the oversight of cybersecurity readiness.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines cybersecurity as "the process of protecting information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks." As part of cybersecurity, institutions should consider management of internal and external threats and vulnerabilities to protect information assets and the supporting infrastructure from technology-based attacks.
The following resources can help management and directors of financial institutions to understand supervisory expectations, increase awareness of cy bersecurity risks, and assess and mitigate the risks facing their institutions.