Small banks face the greatest risk from hackers

March 24, 2016

Deirdre Fernandes

With cybersecurity becoming a topic of ever-increasing visibility and importance, information security professionals ask what protection they have when they make potentially unpopular disclosures of cybersecurity issues. Though no whistleblower retaliation statute deals directly with the topic, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will often protect cybersecurity professionals who work directly for public corporations or those corporations’ service providers. Yet further, the Dodd-Frank Act could allow information security workers to receive a whistleblower reward for reporting cybersecurity concerns to the SEC or CFTC, in some cases.

However, the relationship among cybersecurity issues, SOX, and the Dodd-Frank Act is not yet clearly defined. Accordingly, information security professionals should educate themselves about whistleblower protections. Doing so could make the difference between being protected, receiving a whistleblower reward, or suffering retaliation without recourse.

- See more at: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/protections-and-rewards-cybersecurity-whistleblowers#sthash.Nu5uovJe.dpuf

Cyberattacks on the country’s largest banks, from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Bank of America Corp., grab the headlines. But the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and other regulators worry that smaller banks, with less robust cybersecurity, provide easier targets for criminals, terrorists, and foreign states seeking to infiltrate the US financial system.

Banks are so interconnected, doing business with each other and interacting with the Federal Reserve, that an attack on a community bank could eventually infect larger banks, spreading like a virus and threatening the stability of and confidence in the banking system. Numbering in the thousands across the country, small banks don’t have the resources to hire armies of technology experts and spend millions for the most sophisticated software to thwart cyberthreats.

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