Public Statements & Remarks

Concurring Statement of Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen Regarding System Safeguards Testing Requirements

September 8, 2016

I will be voting yes on both systems safeguards rules. There is not much more to say than what I said when these rules were proposed on December 10, 2015.1 Cybersecurity is a top concern for American companies, especially financial firms. These rules are a good step forward in addressing these concerns.

As I noted when they were proposed, there are many aspects of these proposals that I like:

First, they set up a comprehensive testing regime by: (a) defining the types of cybersecurity testing essential to fulfilling system safeguards testing obligations, including vulnerability testing, penetration testing, controls testing, security incident response plan testing, and enterprise technology risk assessment; (b) requiring internal reporting and review of testing results; and (c) mandating remediation of vulnerabilities and deficiencies. Further, for certain significant entities, based on trading volume, it requires heightened measures such as minimum frequency requirements for conducting certain testing, and specific requirements for the use of independent contractors.

Second, there is a focus on governance – requiring, for instance, that firms’ Board of Directors receive and review all reports setting forth the results of all testing. And third, these rulemakings are largely based on well-regarded, accepted best practices for cybersecurity, including The National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (“NIST Framework”).2

I was also an early proponent of including all registered entities, including SEFs, in this rule. I am glad to see them included, and look forward to the staff roundtable to discuss how to apply heightened standards to the significant SEFs. Thank you and I look forward to the staff’s presentation.

1 Concurring Statement of Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen Regarding Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on System Safeguards Testing Requirements (Dec. 10, 2015), available at

2 Id. See also NIST Framework, Subcategory PR.IP-10, at 28, and Category DE.DP, at 31, available at cyberframework/upload/cybersecurity-framework-021214.pdf.

Last Updated: September 8, 2016