BITS President Asks Congress to Streamline Cybersecurity Regulations

BITS President Asks Congress to Streamline Cybersecurity Regulations

Washington – Christopher F. Feeney, President of BITS, the technology division of the Bank Policy Institute, testified in Congress today about the complex regulatory environment and the challenges it presents to cybersecurity and protecting personal financial information. Feeney spoke in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs, highlighting the several duplicative and often counterproductive regulations in place that undermine strong cybersecurity protections. Feeney noted that these regulations, while well-intended, are often not harmonized with one another and create challenges for the institutions they regulate.

“On an individual basis, many of the regulatory requirements financial firms must meet are beneficial and have strengthened firms and the industry,” Feeney stated. “The challenge is that collectively, without harmonization and alignment, the regulations are often counterproductive; creating duplication, conflict and confusion, and place a significant burden on firms’ ability to improve cybersecurity and innovate to stay ahead of threats.”

Feeney highlighted these challenges as well as efforts undertaken by the financial services sector to harmonize cybersecurity regulation, emphasizing these three key points that congress should address:

  • The expanding number of cybersecurity issuances financial firms are being asked to adhere to and proposed solutions for usage by the regulatory community;
  • The fast-changing environment to address the issue of privacy as evidenced by recent state and international privacy laws; and
  • The ongoing need for a uniform federal standard for data protection and breach notification.

“We stand ready to work with Congress on data breach and privacy standards and we will continue to work actively with our regulatory community on a more rationalized approach to cybersecurity,” Feeney added. “As we do so, Congressional encouragement is welcome. Indeed, it is needed.” 


BITS is the technology policy division of the Bank Policy Institute. BITS provides an executive level forum to discuss and promote current and emerging technology, foster innovation, reduce fraud and improve cybersecurity and risk management practices for the nation’s financial sector. Led by C-Suite executives including CEO’s, CIO’s, CISO’s and senior leaders, BITS brings together its members, regulators, government agencies and technology firms to: advance collaboration in the regulatory and risk environment; address current and emerging policy issues; improve effectiveness of technology programs; promote critical infrastructure resilience; and strengthen cybersecurity and reduce fraud. Learn more at

The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) is a nonpartisan public policy, research and advocacy group, representing the nation’s leading banks and their customers. Our members include universal banks, regional banks and the major foreign banks doing business in the United States. Collectively, they employ almost 2 million Americans, make nearly half of the nation’s small business loans, and are an engine for financial innovation and economic growth.

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