- Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have ordered halts to software updates around next week’s election to avoid service outages for customers, the Information reported.
- The precautionary step is common during periods of heightened market volatility. This year’s election is expected to be particularly turbulent.
- JPMorgan executed code freezes during the 2016 US presidential election when Donald Trump won, the 2019 UK general election, and when Brexit came into force this year.
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Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan will freeze software updates to their retail and investment banking systems around next week’s US presidential election on Tuesday to minimize outages, the Information reported.
Bank customers who use these systems to manage their accounts will not be interrupted by any software updates on Tuesday, the final day of the presidential vote.
The planned move, also known as software code “freezes,” is a safeguard against risks of any services facing outages during potential market volatility around November 3. Systematic updates could generate lags or delays to online services and cause disturbances to client activity.
JPMorgan plans to suspend all software code updates for critical banking systems including Chase.com retail banking, trading, treasury, and asset management between November 1 to November 8, the Information said, citing a source. No configuration changes will be made to cybersecurity applications used to defend systems from cyberattacks.
The upcoming election could be an especially turbulent one for markets, because of the potential for dissent over the outcome and a contested election.
Outages set off by disruptive software updates could be an opportune moment for cybercriminal attacks, the Information said, citing Andrew Plato, CEO of cloud-security firm Anitian.
“During an outage, people are focused on getting systems back up and running and distracted,” Plato told the news outlet. “It’s a perfect time to launch an attack. Attack traffic will be lost among all the activity updating systems.”
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
JPMorgan has previously executed code freezes during the 2016 US presidential election, the 2019 UK general election when Boris Johnson was appointed Prime Minister, and when the UK’s withdrawal agreement came into force on January 31 this year, the Information said.