The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a notice Thursday to inform market participants about its procedures for dealing with a possible market-wide disruption, including a significant cybersecurity incident.
“Market disruption events may impact marketplaces, clearing agencies and registrants, including market participants beyond the traditional securities sector, for example banks and pension funds. These events may impair the ability of market participants to promptly and reliably trade, clear and settle transactions. Consequently, a market disruption may compromise investor protection and the operation of fair, efficient and orderly markets in Canada,” the CSA states in the notice.
The procedures to help clarify the industry’s preparations for major disruptive events stem from an industry roundtable on cybersecurity hosted by the CSA in 2017, which found that although industry participants have their own incident response plans in place, there is a need for more formal coordination mechanisms between the industry and regulators in the event of a market-wide disruption.
Since that roundtable, regulators have been working to improve communication and information sharing between industry players and regulators, the CSA says, and it has developed a more formal process to follow in the event of a market-wide event.
Today’s notice outlines the CSA procedures and the responsibilities of both industry firms and regulators in dealing with a major cyberattack, or other systemic disruption.
“CSA staff have developed specific procedures for a cybersecurity event, that emphasize the speed at which the disruption advances, the risk of contagion and communication with other relevant federal and provincial organizations,” the notice states.
Among other things, the notice sets out the obligations of industry firms to notify regulators about potentially-disruptive incidents, and their approach for providing information to the public. It also details regulators’ role in a disruption that compromises the “fair and orderly” operation of markets.
“The CSA procedures are designed to deal with a market-wide disruption that arises from an incident, or a series of incidents, that compromise market integrity in general—in other words, situations that cause Canadian capital markets to not operate in a fair, reliable, secure, accurate and efficient manner,” the notice states. “Factors to be considered in determining whether an incident, or a series of incidents, has market-wide implications include the breadth of market stakeholders affected, prudential impacts and business continuity of market participants in the Canadian capital markets more generally.”
“Ensuring that fair, efficient and orderly markets are not compromised has guided the preparation of these procedures” says Louis Morisset, CSA chair and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, in a statement. “We are reminding market participants of the CSA’s expectations and requirements, particularly given the increased frequency of data breaches and cybersecurity incidents and their potential to disrupt markets.”