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09/08/2015

Department Announces Cybersecurity Task Force

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann today announced the formation of a Cybersecurity Task Force designed to provide resources to the financial services companies under its supervision to address cybersecurity issues in order to help ensure the integrity of Pennsylvania’s financial marketplace.

The task force is comprised of Department of Banking and Securities regulatory staff, along with department legal and information technology staff.

“As cybersecurity threats to businesses and institutions continue and increase, the need for the financial services industry to implement effective cybersecurity measures is more pressing than ever,” stated Wiessmann. “At the Department of Banking and Securities, we are pleased to be one of the first state financial regulators to create a task force whose mission is focused on promoting cybersecurity awareness and identifying cybersecurity trends, developments, and best practices.”

Among the resources the task force is highlighting are a self-assessment tool issued by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, an interagency body of financial services regulators, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Sample Request for Information and Documents. These and other resources are available on a new section of the department’s website dedicated to cybersecurity: go to www.dobs.pa.gov and click on Businesses/Cybersecurity.

“In addition to implementing technical measures, businesses should recognize that the weakest links in a secure system may be an employee, a vendor, or even a customer,” Wiessmann also stated. “Businesses should train and evaluate their staff and vendors, and educate their customers, to ensure that they understand the risks presented by cybersecurity threats.”

The department’s efforts are an extension of the Pennsylvania state government’s effort to protect the security of its digital resources by reducing vulnerability to cyberattacks, minimizing damage and recovery if a cyberattack occurs, and promoting awareness and education to businesses and consumers of the threats of cyberattacks.

The Department of Banking and Securities regulates more than 200 state-chartered banks, trusts, and credit unions; licenses more than 17,000 non-bank lenders, including mortgage brokers, originators and lenders; auto sales finance companies; debt management companies; debt service companies; check cashers; pawnbrokers; and money transmitters; and registers more than 200,000 broker-dealers, securities agents, investment advisers and investment adviser representatives who conduct securities-related business in Pennsylvania.

A Secretary’s Letter on the issue of cybersecurity was issued today. It can be found online at: http://www.dobs.pa.gov/Documents/Secretary%20Letters/Banks/Secretarys%20Letter%20Cybersecurity%209.4.15.pdf

MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Novak - 717-783-4721

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