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SEBI to protect securities markets from cyber threats

To protect securities markets from cyber threats, regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is looking to further beef up its policy framework on this front and plans to appoint a chief IT security officer to head these initiatives.

While Sebi has already asked stock exchanges and other market entities to put in place necessary framework to safeguard their systems, networks and databases from cyber attacks, the regulator is now looking at ways to further strengthen these mechanisms, a senior official said.

Sebi will appoint a Chief Information Technology Security Officer, who will be responsible for strengthening its regulatory policy framework in the area of cyber security. The Officer would oversee implementation of these regulatory policies across security markets and also help enhance capacity building at Sebi and various market participants with respect to cyber security.

Sebi would also develop stress testing mechanism to mitigate risk arising out of cyber-attacks, while necessary framework would be put in place for taking corrective measures and prudent response in case of cyber attacks at the regulator or market participants.

Sebi has invited applications from eligible persons for the post of Chief IT Security Officer, who will need at least 10 years of experience in IT industry, preferably in cyber security and IT systems audit, and a minimum five years as head of a large unit of an IT company or IT unit of a bank, financial institution or market infrastructure institution. The Officer would also observe developments in cyber technology and security space and prepare inputs for regulatory policy development. In a recent interaction, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha raised concerns about growing cyber security threat for markets. “We have some guidelines in place but there is a need to revamp them. We are working with experts to address the gaps and appropriate action would be taken soon.

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