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By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cyber security experts from the White House, Treasury Department and Department of Homeland Security will be among panelists appearing on Wednesday at a roundtable on the challenges hackers pose to public companies and financial markets.
Hosted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the roundtable comes after several large companies, including Target Corp and Neiman Marcus, suffered major data breaches that have sparked concerns about customer losses, data security and how such breaches should be disclosed to the public.
U.S. lawmakers have been considering legislation that would lay out how customers should be notified about data theft but have not made much progress in a busy election year.
The SEC has also faced some pressure from lawmakers to revise its disclosure rules to address cyber threats.
The agency already in 2011 issued informal staff guidance on the subject to help guide public company disclosure of cyber attacks, but some critics say more should be done.
In addition, the SEC has also been focusing on cyber security issues in connection with firms it inspects, such as investment advisers who must safeguard highly sensitive data about its customers' trading accounts.
In January, SEC officials said they were planning to more closely scrutinize whether asset managers they regulate have policies to prevent and detect cyber attacks.
Wednesday's event will be divided into four panels.
The first panel will discuss the cyber security landscape in general, and feature the government officials as well as executives from Microsoft and Deloitte, among others.
The second panel will discuss public company disclosure matters. The third and fourth panels will focus on cyber issues facing exchanges, broker dealers, investment advisers and transfer agents.
Participants on some of the other panels include officials from Nasdaq OMX, CME Group, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Tom Brown)