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.
We have written here previously about the dramatic increase in cyberattacks on companies of all types since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, by some estimates, ransomware attacks have increased over 90% during the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year. As these and other types of cyberattacks have increased, various federal and state regulators have correspondingly stepped up efforts to investigate and bring enforcement actions – which often include large fines – against companies that are perceived to have been negligent in their cybersecurity efforts. Two of the most active agencies in cybersecurity enforcement have been the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), both of which have made important announcements regarding cybersecurity compliance in the past few months.
The regulation of cybersecurity remains a new and rapidly evolving space — and regulatory activity and priorities can be somewhat opaque to outside observers. In this special episode of the Faegre Drinker on Law and Technology Podcast, host Jason G. Weiss shares a discussion led by Faegre Drinker’s Peter Baldwin, who sat down with Brent Wilner, senior advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Cyber Unit, and Justin Herring, leader of the New York Department of Financial Services’ (NYDFS) Cybersecurity Division. The two guests share their insights on each agency’s priorities in cybersecurity, data protection and enforcement.
Last week, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges connected to a large-scale, international conspiracy to hack into the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (“EDGAR”) system and profit by trading on stolen material, non-public information. The conduct underlying these cases was one of the principal reasons that the SEC created its Division of Enforcement “Cyber Unit” to target cyber-related securities fraud violations.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its most significant case ever filed against a respondent for one of the world’s largest data breaches. Albata, Inc., f/d/b/a Yahoo! Inc., (“Yahoo”) settled with the SEC to charges of violating Section 17(a)(2) and 17 (a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”), amongst other charges, and agreed to various remedies, including a $35 million penalty.
If Ben Franklin were alive today, he would add cybersecurity to his famous quote “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Cybersecurity is top of mind in every organization in part because of the recent massive ransomware attacks, new federal and state regulations (including the New York Division of Financial Services’ Cybersecurity Regulation) and the upcoming effective date of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizations that want to shore up their cybersecurity vulnerabilities, but there are a lot of useful reports and advice from federal government agencies.