On August 25th the Financial Times of London ran a front page story quoting Greg Medcraft, chairman of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco), predicting that the next so-called "black swan" event in markets would be a succession of attacks on financial organizations. According to Medcraft, the "issue of cyber resilience is a bit of a sleeper issue, and one that we have to be proactive about..."
Confirmation that cyber-security in markets is an issue arrived just two days later when hackers gained access to at least five American banks, including JPMorgan Chase. Checking- and savings-account information was stolen. One suggestion was that the attacks were politically motivated and committed by Russia hackers retaliating for Ukraine-related sanctions. Shares of JPMorgan Chase suffered slightly at the time, but have since recovered.
It seems many are becoming more worried about the ability of hackers to affect market infrastructure. In May The New York State Department of Financial Services issued a "Report on Cyber Security in the Banking Sector" that carried a similar warning. "Cyber-attacks against financial services institutions are becoming more frequent, more sophisticated, and more widespread," the report said.
Last week in an interview about his new online firm WealthBar, founder Chris Nicola, suggested that a key task of advisor firms in the future will be the ability of the firm to maintain client data safely.