Capital markets regulator SEBI is working on a Cybersecurity and Resilience Framework that it intends rolling out once industry feedback is received, Kamlesh Varshney, Whole-Time Member, said on Saturday.

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“SEBI has prepared cybersecurity framework. It is ready and already given to the Industry Standards Forum for Brokers for their comments. They will come back by month end and then we will take it forward,” Varshney said at the ANMI-organised 13th International Convention 2024 in the capital.

He urged the broking fraternity to adopt that framework (once it is unveiled), noting that it would help them to be safe from cyber attacks.

Varshney, who assumed charge as WTM in September 2023, later said it would be difficult to give an exact timeline as to when the framework will be rolled out, but added that it would be mandatory on all market intermediaries and players in the ecosystem.

Varshney’s remarks are significant as with the increasing digitization of financial systems, cybersecurity has emerged as a significant concern in equity markets.

Only last week, there was reportedly a ransomware attack on leading brokerage house Motilal Oswal Financial Services. The firm, however, said its operations were unaffected following a cyber incident this month.

Equity markets are attractive targets for cyberattacks due to the large volumes of financial transactions and sensitive information they handle. 


Varshney urged the Broking fraternity to keep close watch on technology developments across the world and see how they could be integrated within their businesses. 

“Those who understand new technology and incorporate it in their business will survive. Others may fall on the wayside”, he said.

Varshney noted that lot of brokers had gone out of business, while new brokers have come and are capturing the market. “That is because new technology came in 2000 and they were able to outperform everyone else”.

He highlighted that now Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other new technologies are changing the world. 

Varshney later said on the sidelines of the event that SEBI was already using AI for investigations besides other things.


Varshney cautioned the broking community to be wary of certain bad elements in their fraternity who were indulging in manipulations. He advised the Broking fraternity to keep their eyes and ears open on any such manipulation attempts. 

“There is manipulation going on. We all know it. Whenever there is manipulation, SEBI intervenes. But SEBI cannot intervene on each and every manipulation. That has to be managed by intermediaries like yourself”, he said.

“You have to keep an eye. If you notice manipulation, try to stop it yourself. Be our eyes and ears and bring it to notice of SEBI”.


Varshney highlighted that resource mobilisation through equity markets has doubled in last four years. 

“We are on track. If we (capital market ecosystem) are growing like this, we are contributing our bit in making India a Viksit Bharat in 2047. We will continue to grow”, he said.

Also read: RBI rules for cybersecurity in financial institutions

“You can have good tech and cybersecurity, but everything will fail if there is no trust of investors. In my opinion, trust of investor is a critical part for capital markets”.

Total demat accounts in the country has grown to 14 crore as of end December 2023 with the count having doubled in last 2.5 years. The number of unique demat accounts have doubled in last four year at 9.5 crore as of December 31, 2023.