SEC to establish cyber security unit

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced plans to create a unit to tackle cyber threat.

SEC to establish cyber security unit

The new unit will particularly focus on misconduct involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings, misconduct using dark web, market manipulation schemes through electronic and social media, intrusions into retail brokerage accounts, and cyber threats to trading platforms.

The cyber unit will be led by Robert Cohen, and will also include staff from the Enforcement Division. Cohen currently serves as co-chief of the market abuse unit at SEC.

“The unit, which has been in the planning stages for months, complements the Chairman’s initiatives to implement an internal cybersecurity risk profile and create a cybersecurity working group to coordinate information sharing, risk monitoring, and incident response efforts throughout the agency,” SEC said in a statement.

In addition, the regulator also established a retail strategy task force that will develop initiatives to detect misconduct affecting retail investors using data analytics and technology.

The task force will comprise enforcement personnel across the country, who will work alongside SEC employees including SEC’s National Exam Program and the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.

SEC Enforcement Division co-director Steven Peikin said: “By dedicating additional resources and expertise to developing strategies to address misconduct that victimizes retail investors, the division will better protect our most vulnerable market participants.”