The Securities and Exchange Commission is to conduct checks on more than 50 registered broker-dealers and investment advisors to assess their ability to counteract cyber-security threats.
The investigation - to be carried out by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) - follows on from a cyber-security roundtable held by the watchdog last month, in which the Commission was urged to take further steps to address the potential threats to market integrity and data protection.
OCIE says the inspections will seek to assess each firm's cyber-security governance, identification and assessment of cyber-security risks, alongside protection measures used to lock down networks and information. The watchdog will also explore the risks associated with remote customer access and funds transfer requests, and with vendors and other third parties.
"These examinations will help identify areas where the Commission and the industry can work together to protect investors and our capital markets from cyber-security threats," says the SEC.
To aid firms, the Commission has issued a sample request for information
and documents that it will expect from firms during the investigation.