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SEC Chair Warns Of Increasing Cyberattacks Against Companies

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton said corporate America needs to be more proactive about cybersecurity, warning that the threat of cyberattacks will continue, CNBC reported.

Speaking on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” Clayton said cybersecurity risks compounded on the pandemic and the U.S. presidential election.

“Cyber risks have not gone away with the unfortunate, unforeseen risks we’ve faced with COVID and other uncertainties in our economy,” he said. “They’re still there, and they’re there more than ever.”

In October, the SEC put out 30 cyber alerts across various industries and business sizes, along with warnings to customers, CNBC reported.

The SEC has issued warnings in the past few months on ransomware, which involves attacks on broker dealers, investment advisors and investment companies, along with attacks on service providers that affect companies under the purview of the SEC. And the SEC warned about credential compromises, meaning cyberattacks using compromised client login credentials to attack brokers and dealers, take customer assets and expose private information.

Clayton said the financial community is especially concerned with the issue, facing problems like denial-of-service attacks, which is when hackers try to disrupt a site by directing a large amount of traffic toward it.

Clayton recommended that companies and individuals each perform digital hygiene, CNBC reported. Companies should have multi-level backups, and individuals should practice two-factor authentication for passwords.

In 2019, PYMNTS reported that the amount of companies that had the proper infrastructure in place to ward off a cyberattack was surprisingly low. According to stats from cybersecurity company Lastline, only 2 percent of respondents to a survey had adequate funding in place, while 23 percent said a substantial cyberattack would be what was needed to get their companies to spend more on better security resources.

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