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16 November 2017

M&A Due Diligence: The Devil in Their Data

*Article first appeared in Corporate Board Member on November 7, 2017

At a time when a major cybersecurity incident can cost a company millions, it’s crucial that acquiring companies give cybersecurity the same level of scrutiny as they do more traditional risks and opportunities in the M&A due diligence process. Yet too many deals suffer from superficial consideration of these issues.

Why the disconnect? Unlike other areas where companies face legal and regulatory implications, in-house and outside legal teams often lack well-developed methods to analyze cybersecurity risks, too often considering them technical issues beneath the notice of the bankers and lawyers. In many cases, deal teams lack the skill sets to analyze the issues effectively and cannot even speak the language of the CIOs and CISOs well enough to spot “alternative facts.” Boards need to ensure that they or their advisers—preferably both—have sufficient skills to assess cybersecurity risks and ask the right questions. (more…)

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30 October 2017

When And How Cos. Should Address Cyber Legal Compliance

*This post originally appeared in Law 360 on October 24, 2017.

We’ve seen it happen time and again. When a company experiences a major data breach or hacking incident, media attention turns to speculation or allegations about the company’s past history of underinvesting in cyber defenses, its supposed culture of cyber complacency, or its history of unaddressed (but, in retrospect, allegedly clear) vulnerabilities. New information may come to light indicating the victimized company suffered previous breaches months, or years, earlier. Rumors of cyber-inadequacy gain currency among current and former employees and, ultimately, regulators and plaintiffs. Sometimes (but not always), these rumors, allegations, supposition and speculation even turn out to be true. (more…)

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24 October 2017

NIST’s Digital Identity Guidelines Favor the User

With the continued rise of data breaches rooted in a compromise of user credentials, interest has continued to build in more secure form of digital identities for authentication.  Supporting controls for federal agencies as well as innovation in the market, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) published its four-volume Digital Identity Guidelines earlier this year on June 22, 2017. The Guidelines encourage online service providers (“OSPs”) to adopt design practices that promise to reduce unnecessary user frustration with password and identity verification systems, while at the same time increasing security.  The primary purpose of the Guidelines is to promulgate technical requirements for federal agencies, businesses, however, could use the Guidelines as a baseline for their own cybersecurity systems—both to establish credibility and enhance the user experience. (more…)

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20 September 2017

Former U.S. Ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner to Join Sidley in London

London – Sidley Austin LLP is pleased to announce that Anthony Gardner, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, will join Sidley as senior counsel. He will be a member of both its International Trade and Privacy and Cybersecurity practices, and split his time between the firm’s London and Brussels offices. (more…)

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15 June 2017

CFTC Approves Amendments to Recordkeeping Rules

On May 23, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved proposed amendments to the recordkeeping obligations set forth in CFTC Regulation 1.31 (Recordkeeping Rule) which is applicable to all CFTC registered entities and other persons required to maintain records under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The final amendments are intended to modernize the Recordkeeping Rule by making the form and manner in which regulatory records must be kept technology-neutral. The amendments provide recordkeepers with greater flexibility regarding the retention and production of CFTC regulatory records. The CFTC indicated that it does not believe the amendments impose any new recordkeeping requirements on any recordkeeper, and existing recordkeeping methods remain valid for compliance with the amended Recordkeeping Rule should a recordkeeper choose not to take advantage of the less-prescriptive, principles based approach of the amended Recordkeeping Rule. The final amendments also reorganized the Recordkeeping Rule for ease of understanding, including by adopting new definitions. The amendments represent a long-awaited and generally positive modernization of important CFTC rules that have often frustrated market participants. The effective date for the amended Recordkeeping Rule is August 28, 2017. (more…)

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18 May 2017

Responding to WannaCry

*This post was originally distributed as a privacy and cybersecurity client alert on Monday, May 15, 2017.  Sign up for our privacy and cybersecurity distribution list here.

As you likely will have heard, there is an ongoing major cyber-attack involving the WannaCry ransomware. It is affecting businesses across the world and across sectors, including financial services firms, healthcare entities and even manufacturers. We are actively advising clients on cybersecurity matters, and we have recently guided clients through ransomware attacks. We have also recently authored a major report on improving transatlantic cybersecurity in collaboration with the US Chamber of Commerce.

Following the WannaCry attack, many companies and their counsel will need to consider and coordinate the following: (more…)

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15 May 2017

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Cybersecurity at Federal Agencies

On Thursday, May 11, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure.  The order is expected to prompt a broad examination of cybersecurity vulnerabilities at federal agencies and re-orient federal cybersecurity efforts toward modernization and shared services.  The order also reaffirms the previous administration’s approach to cybersecurity protections for critical infrastructure – with increased emphasis on the power grid – and seeks to promote the growth and sustainment of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce in the public and private sectors.  (more…)

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09 May 2017

Sidley’s Third Annual Privacy and Cybersecurity Roundtable

On April 18 in the DC office, Sidley hosted the firm’s third annual Privacy and Cybersecurity Roundtable for over 70 clients. Speakers included a senior representative of the European Data Protection Supervisor, senior officials from the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission, legal, policy and compliance leaders from Facebook and Gannett, along with several members of the firm’s privacy, securities law and governance groups. (more…)

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