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While many firms have made significant improvements in their cybersecurity programs, cybersecurity attacks continue to increase in both number and level of sophistication. FINRA notes that such attacks often take advantage of and highlight weaknesses in a firm’s cybersecurity program.
In both 2017 and 2018, FINRA issued Reports on Examination Findings in response to firms’ requests that we make publicly available a summary of key findings from FINRA’s examinations of member firms. Firms use this information, as well as effective practices observed by FINRA at certain firms, to anticipate potential areas of concern and improve their procedures and controls.
FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind member firms of their supervisory obligations under FINRA Rules 3110 (Supervision) and 3120 (Supervisory Control System) if they hold or transact in customer accounts owned by municipal entities or obligated persons (municipal clients), as defined in Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), and participate in investment-related activities with municipal clients, such as recommending or selling non-municipal securities products to such municipal clients.
FINRA is issuing this Notice to restate and supplement prior guidance regarding the circumstances under which a firm or individual may influence the outcome of an investigation by demonstrating extraordinary cooperation. This Notice incorporates FINRA’s prior guidance and provides clarification and additional information about how FINRA assesses whether a potential respondent’s cooperation is “extraordinary” and distinct from the level of cooperation expected of all member firms and their associated persons.
This article highlights some of the common cybersecurity threats faced by broker-dealers. In a number of cases, FINRA has observed that different types of attacks were coordinated and overlapped.
FINRA is a not-for-profit, self-regulatory organization (SRO) dedicated to promoting investor protection and market integrity in a manner that facilitates vibrant capital markets. One of FINRA’s tools for achieving this objective is fair and effective enforcement of our member firms’ compliance with securities laws and regulations.
FINRA is providing these Frequently Asked Questions about its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative (the “Initiative”) in response to a number of inquiries it has received from firms and trade associations. In order to allow firms sufficient time to consider the additional information provided here and to provide firms more time to review their supervisory systems and procedures with respect to 529 plan sales, FINRA is extending the due dates set forth in Regulatory Notice 19-04.