After coming under fire in 2016 for a hack which went undetected for an extended period of time, the SEC has announced new initiatives to combat cyber-crime and protect retail traders.
These initiatives include the creation of a cyber unit. The focus of this unit will be on schemes that manipulate the market by spreading false information.
The unit will also target activities such as hacking, initial coin offerings, intrusion into accounts, manipulation of trader platforms, and more.
The report says that the unit has been in the planning stages for months but the fact that this news has been released just now raises eyebrows. The SEC was under fire recently for its mis-handling of the 2016 hack, which led to the leaking of corporate documents and insider trading.
Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said: “Cyber-related threats and misconduct are among the greatest risks facing investors and the securities industry. The Cyber Unit will enhance our ability to detect and investigate cyber threats through increasing expertise in an area of critical national importance.”
Retail Strategy Task Force
The SEC also reported the setting up of a Retail Strategy Task Force that will focus on schemes and activities that target retail investors. These activities include selling inappropriate products to investors and pumping up prices of microcap stocks.
The report said that the 2 units will include personnel from across the SEC’s Enforcement Division and that the move represents how serious SEC Chairman Jay Clayton is about tacking cyber-related crimes.