The United States Congress recently passed legislation that includes new cybersecurity provisions requiring critical infrastructure providers to report cyber security incidents, including the payment of ransom, to the federal government. The bill, also known as the “Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act of 2022,” passed the Senate by unanimous vote on March 1. It then passed the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently warned private entities to remediate any ongoing Log4j vulnerabilities present within their networks or face possible enforcement action.
Log4j is used to record activities in a wide range of systems, sites, and software found in online products and services. Recently, a serious vulnerability in this popular software was discovered. This vulnerability poses a severe risk to millions of users. Most importantly, the Log4j vulnerability is being widely exploited by a growing set of attackers.
Recognizing that cyberattacks have already commenced and could spread beyond the Russian-Ukrainian battlefield, organizations can take several steps to protect themselves. They can recognize the risk. Then organizations can assess likely cyber threats and vulnerabilities, build resilience and take preventive actions, to avoid becoming another casualty in a conflict that already has too many.
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose cybersecurity rules that, if adopted, would require investment advisers and funds to implement written policies and procedures to address cybersecurity risk, and would create new reporting, disclosure and record keeping obligations.
On January 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) issued a joint advisory, warning of an increasing cybersecurity threat posed by Russian state-backed threat actors to U.S. critical infrastructure.
On December 11, 2021, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in partnership with the FBI and NSA, announced a critical remote code execution vulnerability had been identified in the Apache Log4j software library. This vulnerability allowed a successful threat actor to take control of a network system and cause a variety of damage, including the ability to launch ransomware, steal and destroy victim information, deploy malware, and disrupt internal and infrastructure operational control. Insurance regulators from four states have recently issued guidance in response to the threat, and it is likely more insurance commissioners will follow suit.