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Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
Press Release
For Immediate Release May 7, 2014

FFIEC Promotes Cybersecurity Preparedness for Community Financial Institutions


WASHINGTON – The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today highlighted efforts to enhance financial institutions’ cybersecurity during a webinar for approximately 5,000 chief executive officers and senior managers from community financial institutions. The FFIEC offered this webinar to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of cyber threats, discuss the role of executive leadership in managing these risks, and to share actions being taken by the FFIEC.

FFIEC announced a vulnerability and risk-mitigation assessment as well as regulatory self-assessment of supervisory policies and processes. These assessments will be conducted later this year and will help the FFIEC member agencies make informed decisions about the state of cybersecurity across community institutions and address gaps and prioritize necessary actions to strengthen supervisory programs. FFIEC members want to provide additional support to community banks, which may not have access to the resources available to larger institutions.

FFIEC highlighted key focus areas for senior management and boards of directors of community institutions as they assess their institutions’ abilities to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks, including:

  • Setting the tone from the top and building a security culture;
  • Identifying, measuring, mitigating, and monitoring risks;
  • Developing risk management processes commensurate with the risks and complexity of the institutions;
  • Aligning cybersecurity strategy with business strategy and accounting for how risks will be managed both now and in the future;
  • Creating a governance process to ensure ongoing awareness and accountability; and
  • Ensuring timely reports to senior management that include meaningful information addressing the institution’s vulnerability to cyber risks.

The webinar for community banks is part of a larger cybersecurity awareness initiative that covers institutions of all sizes.

The presentation from the webinar is available on the FFIEC Web site at www.ffiec.gov.

FFIEC was established in March 1979 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms, and to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. The Council has six voting members: a Governor of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, designated by the Chairman of the Board; the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Chairman of the Board of the National Credit Union Administration; the Comptroller of the Currency; the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee. The Council's activities are supported by interagency task forces and by an advisory State Liaison Committee, comprised of five representatives of state agencies that supervise financial institutions.


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Media Contacts:

CFPB Sam Gilford (202) 435-7673
FDIC Greg Hernandez (202) 898-6984
Federal Reserve Barbara Hagenbaugh (202) 452-2955
NCUA John Fairbanks (703) 518-6336
OCC Stephanie Collins (202) 649-6870
SLC Catherine Woody (202) 728-5733