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OCC updates cybersecurity exam procedures

Bank Regulatory Federal Issues Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security OCC Supervision Examination NIST

On June 26, the OCC issued Bulletin 2023-22 announcing recent updates to the agency’s approach to cybersecurity assessment procedures. The Cybersecurity Supervision Work Program (CSW) provides high-level examination objectives and procedures aligned with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST-CFS) and is part of the agency’s risk-based bank information technology supervision process. The CSW is intended to provide examiners an effective approach for identifying cybersecurity risks in supervised banks.

According to an overview provided by the OCC, the CSW “provides examiners with a common framework and terminology in discussions with bank management” and is structured according to the following NIST-CSF functions: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover (as well as related categories and subcategories). The OCC also developed an additional function, Specialty Areas, to address areas of risk that may be part of OCC cybersecurity assessments, where applicable. Examiners will use these procedures to supplement those outlined in the “Community Bank Supervision,” “Large Bank Supervision,” and “Federal Branches and Agencies Supervision” booklets of the Comptroller’s Handbook, the FFIEC’s Information Technology Examination Handbook booklets, and other related supervisory guidance.

The OCC encourages supervised banks to use standardized approaches to assess and improve cybersecurity preparedness. Banks may choose from a variety of standardized tools and available frameworks, and should use the agency’s CSW cross-references table for further guidance. No new regulatory expectations are established with the issuance of the CSW.