Cybersecurity has recently become a high priority issue at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – the agency overseeing designated contract markets, swap execution facilities, derivatives clearing organizations, swap data repositories (SDRs), swap dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators and other derivatives market participants.

CFTC articulates unique cybersecurity concerns

CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad has recognized cybersecurity as “the single most important new risk to market integrity and financial stability.”  The Commission is particularly concerned about cyber-attacks on commodity markets and their participants – an exchange, clearing organization or SDR – that lead to the compromise of the integrity of market data. Such a compromise of data integrity could stop commodity markets from functioning and cause significant financial losses to the commodity futures trading ecosystem.

In support of its focus on cybersecurity, the CFTC recently convened a roundtable to articulate the industry’s strategy on addressing cybersecurity concerns. The event brought together representatives from the White House, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, NSA and Treasury, as well as exchanges, clearing organizations, SDRs and commodity market participants. One of the key initial concerns is assessing – through testing – the cybersecurity readiness of exchanges, clearing organizations and SDRs.