CISA Deputy Director Says No Uptick in Cyberattacks, Urges Banks to Report Suspicious Activity

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Deputy Director Nitin Natarajan told bankers today at the American Bankers Association’s Washington Summit that the U.S. financial sector is not seeing any rise in cyberattacks from Russia, but urged bankers to report any suspicions of cyberattacks.

Natarajan acknowledged the possibility of a Russian cyberattack in light of the recent invasion of Ukraine, and noted that his agency is monitoring the situation with the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and the civilian executive branch. He warned that CISA may not be the first to see the signs of increased cyberattacks, however, adding that financial institutions—especially those with international operations—may see it first. Natarajan urged banks to alert CISA with any information that a cyberattack is taking place. “We’d much rather have multiple phone calls where folks reach out and it turns out to be nothing than to miss it, or for something to go days or perhaps even weeks. We definitely encourage folks to call early, call often,” said Natarajan.

Despite the possibility of increased cyberattacks, Natarajan praised the work banks have already done on cybersecurity, adding that it is something the industry has always done in a quantitative way and something CISA points to when talking to other industries. “It’s something that we’ve always talked to other sectors about, because they can’t quantify it like you can,” said Natarajan.