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It’s no surprise that financial institutions are the target of cyber-attacks. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Citigroup (NYSE:C) have been subject to heightened attacks since 2011, with many citing Iran as the point of origin. While on one hand the United States government is investigating the questionable behavior of major banks, on the other hand they are stepping in to help them shore up security risks.
A Bloomberg Government study found that in order for financial institutions to reach an “ideal state of protection” – defined by the Ponemon institute as the capacity to stop 95 percent of attacks – they would each need to spend $292.4 million per year. But as with any interface between government and the financial industry, regulatory concerns are at the heart of the issue.
Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance — a group of major U.S. companies with cyber-security concerns — says that “the major concern is the vast regulatory structure that would be set up at the Department of Homeland Security.” It’s a debate echoed by the recent financial crisis.
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