The financial-services sector needs to strengthen its information-sharing network to learn more quickly of threat data and thereby stay ahead of hackers, said panelists at the recent SmartBrief Cybersecurity Forum in New York City.
Cybercriminals are colluding and collaborating frequently, which creates a crucial need for the industry to work more closely together on a regular basis, said George Rettas, managing director and chief of staff, Global Information Security Department — Information Protection Directorate, Citigroup.
“You cannot beat a network without being a network yourself. You’re not going to do it alone,” Rettas explained.
Al Berg, chief security and risk officer of Liquidnet Holdings, said information shared by other organizations “can be a force multiplier for us, because we don’t have to redo that analysis.”
Karl Schimmeck, managing director of financial services operations for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said that his group and the industry has spent a decade developing relationships to share information through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or FS-ISAC. The next steps involve building on that sharing with greater government and law enforcement engagement, then extending it more widely through the industry by including more small firms, he said.
While the goal of sharing cybersecurity information in real time remains to be achieved, panelists said the daily sharing of information is a key advantage. Robert Cornish, chief technology officer and chief information security officer of International Securities Exchange, said the FS-ISAC subgroup of exchanges and clearinghouses shares information “readily throughout the day.”
Mark Clancy, CEO of Soltra, said that cyberthreat data from the government has become available increasingly faster, now taking a few days rather than weeks.
“If we can get it down into a few minutes after it’s detected and published, then the attackers have much less latitude to operate,” he said.
In terms of the role the government can play in helping set priorities, Clancy lauded the value of a recent FBI report identifying the top 10 vulnerabilities that nation-state actors have exploited during the past year. “Basically, it’s a shopping cart of everything I have to fix first,” he said.