(Bloomberg) -- Hackers who relentlessly pursue banks may run into tougher defenses as the Federal Reserve and other U.S. regulators force the biggest lenders to plug any vulnerabilities.

Banking agencies released a proposal Wednesday for rules that would require lenders -- and the outside firms that serve them -- to better safeguard themselves and their customers. Banks with more than $50 billion in assets and other systemically significant firms would have to establish board-approved protections that make them more aware of what’s happening in their own systems. The proposal also aims to keep successful cyber attacks from spreading damage through the broader financial sector.

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