Today, July 16, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called for Congress to enact legislation especially focused on small and midsize financial institutions to promote information sharing and encourage them to be vigilant and proactive regarding threats from computer intrusions (watch interview on CNBC).

Lew indicated that while large financial institutions do a good job on cyber security, adequate security may actually be much more challenging for smaller- and medium-sized banks and financial institutions that rely heavily on third-party vendors to operate their information security functions. He indicated that these smaller institutions, including local community and regional banks and financial institutions, had to become more actively involved in securing their computer systems from computer hackers.

Lew also called for collaboration and increased information sharing among the public and private sector because adequate cyber security solutions probably do not lie strictly within the banking community. “Far too many … banks should and could be doing more. In particular, it is imperative that firms collaborate with government agencies and with other firms. Disclosing security breaches is often perceived as something that could harm a firm’s reputation. This has made many businesses reluctant to reveal information about cyber incidents. But this reluctance has to be put aside.”