Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, ABA SVP Doug Johnson called on Congress to act swiftly to enhance the penalties faced by cyber criminals. He emphasized that the banking industry’s cyber defenses are mature and robust. “The financial services sector’s capacity to withstand the direct attack on our critical financial infrastructure as a result of significant, purportedly nation state-based denial of service attacks demonstrated our sector’s capacity to act collectively to respond to major attacks and minimize their capacity to cascade throughout the sector,” he said.
Johnson welcomed President Obama’s “important” executive order imposing sanctions on cyber criminals who threaten U.S. national security, foreign policy, economic health or financial stability but said that congressional action is still needed. He commended a draft bill currently being circulated that would enhance law enforcement anti-cyber crime tools, beef up protections for trade secrets, facilitate prosecution of those who possess stolen payment card information, target cyber criminals overseas and stymie foreign botnets, among others.