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SEC Announces Cyber Unit and Risk Strategy Task Force

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission increased the Enforcement Division’s ability to protect investors with the creation of two new initiatives. The SEC created a Cyber Unit that will focus on targeting cyber-related misconduct. Additionally, the SEC created a Retail Strategy Taskforce to implement initiatives that directly impact retail investors.

The Retail Strategy Task Force will look to use data analytics and technology to identify potentially large cases of fraud and misconduct affecting retail investors.
Not so long ago, two recent cyber events indicated the need for a Cyber Unit. In May of 2017, businesses were attacked by the WannaCry virus. In September of 2017, the SEC revealed that hackers had breached their systems. The SEC revealed that information from the SEC breach may have been used for illegal stock trades. Below details some of the Cyber Units Priorities.

Cyber Unit

The Cyber Unit will focus the Enforcement Division’s substantial cyber-related expertise on targeting cyber-related misconduct, such as:

  • Market manipulation schemes involving false information spread through electronic and social media
  • Hacking to obtain material nonpublic information
  • Violations involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings
  • Misconduct perpetrated using the dark web
  • Intrusions into retail brokerage accounts
  • Cyber-related threats to trading platforms and other critical market infrastructure

The SEC has indicated they will continue to evolve their combat of Retail Fraud and Cyber Security. While the SEC augments their policies on Cyber Security, it is also a great time for your firm to review the policies and procedures that protect the firm from cyber-attack. If you need assistance in creating or updating your cyber security policy, Red Oak is here to help you.