NEW YORK — Wall Street firms are preparing to battle a growing menace: cyberattacks.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a major financial industry group, will coordinate a July 18 simulated cyberattack with about 50 firms. Exchanges, the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security will also participate in the exercise, a follow-up to a 2011 simulation.
“We’ve been under attack as a sector for the last nine months,” said Karl Schimmeck, the trade group’s vice president of financial services operations. “We know this is real. We know things are possible.”
The financial industry has weathered its share of such attacks in recent months as U.S. officials have become increasingly alarmed over computer-launched onslaughts by other nations, terrorists and hackers. Top military and intelligence officials have said the cyber threat now outranks al-Qaida.
Schimmeck said little about the type of barrage the participating firms would face, but it appears to be more significant in scope than the denial-of-service attacks major banks recently have endured.
He said firms would get hit with multiple simulated attacks, and he indicated the fallout would affect the broader financial markets.