On October 6, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced that it will host two webinars with the goal of increasing cybersecurity preparedness by its member financial institutions.  FFIEC’s webinars are in recognition and observance of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

FFIEC’s first webinar will cover Mobile Financial Services – Appendix E of the FFIEC’s Retail Payment System Booklet (the Mobil Device Webinar).  In April 2016, FFIEC updated Appendix E of its Retail Payment Systems booklet to address the proliferation and technological advancements in mobile banking. FFIEC’s Mobil Device Webinar will provide an overview of the contents of Appendix E of its Retail Payments Systems booklet and include a question and answer session on mobile financial services. The Mobil Device Webinar will be held on Thursday, October 13 at 3:00pm New York time.  Banks and other financial institutions can register for FFEIC’s Mobil Device Webinar by clicking here.

FFIEC’s second webinar will highlight the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and discuss how banks can benefit from FS-ISAC membership (the FS-ISAC Webinar). In November 2014, FFIEC issued statements on FFIEC’s observations from its cybersecurity assessment and recommended that financial institutions participate in the FS-ISAC. FFIEC’s FS-ISAC Webinar will feature a guest speaker from the FS-ISAC and will provide tips on how to manage the information flow and filter information through the FS-ISAC membership portal.  The FS-ISAC Webinar will be held on Thursday, November 3 at 1:00pm New York time.  Banks and other financial institutions can register for FFEIC’s FS-ISAC Webinar by clicking here.

FFIEC last celebrated National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October 2013 before FFIEC launched its cybersecurity webpage and began its cybersecurity preparedness campaign for community financial institutions.  FFIEC’s Mobil Device Webinar and FS-ISAC are a good ways to observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but FFIEC could better improve cybersecurity preparedness by requiring that all financial institutions adopt cybersecurity programs consistent with the first-in-the-nation cybersecurity standards recently proposed (the Proposed Regulations) by the New York Department of Financial Services (the NY DFS).  The NY DFS’s Proposed Regulations are in step in the right direction because they require a number of cybersecurity controls not included in FFIEC’s IT Examination Handbook.  Hopefully, banks and other financial institutions will have consistent standards for better cybersecurity before the next National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2017.