While The Nation Tweeted
I know there is really important stuff to discuss this morning like the VP-elect’s Broadway excursion, presidential tweets and SNL skits but there is this nettlesome issue of cyber-security that keeps on popping up.
I was naïve enough to think that one of the few good things to come out of our long, national nightmare called the 2016 presidential election was the realization on the part of almost everyone, with the possible exception of the president- elect, that cyber security is a top national security issue. After all, nation’s and groups that don’t like us all that much demonstrated that they have the ability to steal information not only from businesses and consumers but also from our government.
This should be a top national priority. Don’t take my word for it, just listen to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In testimony before Congress last Thursday, Chairman Yellen was asked what the Fed was doing about cyber- security: “This is something that Congress needs to look at very carefully” She said, “It’s not just a matter of the Fed and financial institutions. Risks involve merchants and others involved in the economy and it is a very broad threat that we alone are not able to deal with adequately.” Amen Sister.
Financial institutions have a crucial part to play when it comes to cyber security but credit unions and many banks already do a tremendous amount. New mandates must be based on the size and sophistication of an institution’s operations as well as the extent to which their problems can spread to the larger banking\commerce system.
Furthermore, for it to be effective a cyber security framework must be coordinated and holistic. It is the type of system that only the federal government can put in place. Existing regulations don’t cast a wide enough net. Merchants have to have baseline responsibilities.
How big a deal is cyber security? There is much more at issue here than a fight between merchants and financial institutions. We can’t have a truly effective 21st century cyber-economy without a truly robust defense.