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Does The NYSE Hack Scare You?



On Wednesday July 8th 2015 the New York Stock Exchange was crippled by a major hack resulting stocks plummeted across the board. Who cares if Wall Street gets hit? The reality is that the modern banking system is entirely dependent on the rise and fall of stock market. The New York Stock Exchange is the hub of the market.  As we saw in 2008 with the collapse of the financial markets, all of the main investment banks are extremely reliant upon the stability of one another but even more importantly are run on confidence in the markets ability to grow. At the end of the day confidence is everything. Without it, you get a situation like Black Friday. So what does this have to do with the July hack? Events like the hack are a searing reminder of insecurity and the ability that one person on a computer can take down the entire system. This is a very powerful concept. Such instability not only presents risk but also inspires a lack of confidence. 

 Surprisingly the July hack is not the first time major concerns have been raised over the facilities security.  Despite all of the efforts and threat intelligence prevention methods that the NYSE has taken it still warns of the risks associated the high frequency trading. For those not in the investment world, high frequency trading is rapid mass trades that are automated based upon variable conditions. Because of the mass trades made in fractions of a second it is incredibly difficult to secure the entire system. This is a harsh reality of the type of trading. However do you feel that this is unethical given prior warnings?  All of Wall Street is risk. Brokers enter the trading floor daily leveraging high risk trades. Sometimes they Win big but often loose huge sums of money.  This is just part of the game. So why would they care adding in another variable into the mix. Although this risk could be devastating the likelihood seems low until a day like July 8th.  The bottom line is that this is not a world for those looking to avoid all risk. If that is what you are seeking go into accounting. You will feel far more comfortable.

 

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