Stock markets could be jeopardized by a crisis of confidence during a major cyberattack, the nation’s powerhouse clearing house warned in a report today.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation urged the financial services industry to beef up plans to communicate with the public in as an attack unfolds.
“Insufficient communication to clients, investors and the broader public, during a large-scale cyber-attack could prevent the industry from effectively avoiding widespread loss of confidence and the potential deepening of an economic crisis,” said DTCC.
The firm processes trillions of dollars in securities transactions each day.
DTCC called on the financial sector to shift resources to lessening cyber threats from prevention to detection and response as hackers become savvier.
“Cyberattacks on financial institutions are becoming more frequent, complex, and sophisticated, with potential for far-reaching, systemic impacts,” said DTCC noted in the report.
The company explained malware attacks on stock exchange data centers can be used to manipulate stock prices for personal financial gain and the disruption of market integrity.
DTCC attacked the cybersecurity guidance regulators have given financial services firms as “fragmented” and “limited.”
“It is imperative for the industry to proactively develop and agree on response and recovery standards that will facilitate effective response and recovery,” urged the clearing house.
The standards could increase investor confidence during an attack, DTCC said.