On 23 January 2024, the UK government published its draft Cyber Governance Code of Practice (the “Code”) to help directors and other senior leadership boost their organizations’ cyber resilience. The draft Code, which forms part of the UK’s wider £2.6bn National Cyber Strategy, was developed in conjunction with several industry experts and stakeholders – including the UK National Cyber Security Centre. The UK government is seeking views from organizations on the draft Code by 19 March 2024.
On October 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published updated export controls on advanced computing items and semiconductor manufacturing equipment under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Specifically, BIS published two interim final rules that revise and expand on the restrictions implemented in the initial interim final rule issued on October 7, 2022 (October 7, 2022 rule).1
On October 16, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Examinations (EXAMS or Division) issued its annual examination priorities, which, for the first time, was published at the start of the SEC’s fiscal year to “better inform investors and registrants of key risks, trends, and examination topics” the Division intends to focus on in the coming year.1
Companies are facing more attacks on their information systems. And, as their cyber risk skyrockets, the SEC has stepped in with new regulations, telling businesses what to disclose about these incidents — and requiring detailed disclosures on cyber risk management more broadly. With the deadline for compliance fast approaching, businesses are scrambling to mitigate their legal risk and comply with regulations that some say may be an overreach.
On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finalized its rule on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure by Public Companies (the Final Rule), which will become effective 30 days following publication in the Federal Register. The Final Rule applies to all public companies subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including foreign private issuers, smaller reporting companies, and business development companies, and will require disclosure of material cybersecurity incidents on Form 8-K and Form 20-F and periodic disclosure of cybersecurity risk management, strategy, and governance in annual reports on Form 10-K and Form 20-F.
Just before Americans began their Fourth of July holiday, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Enforcement Director announced that the division has established two key task forces: the Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies and the Environmental Fraud Task Force.1 Both task forces will be staffed with attorneys and investigators across the Division of Enforcement with the goal of serving as subject matter experts and prosecuting cases. As a result, CFTC registrants should be prepared for heightened focus on cybersecurity and environmental fraud, particularly in the derivatives and relevant spot markets.
On June 30, 2023, Hong Kong’s data protection authority (the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, or PCPD) issued an updated version of its Guidance on Data Breach Handling and Data Breach Notifications (the Guidance, accessible here), which aims to guide companies on how they respond to data breaches. In particular, the Guidance contains a new recommendation for companies to adopt written data breach response plans.
On June 13, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget released its Spring 2023 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which includes updates on Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed rules. The SEC pushed back its estimate for the final action date to October 2023 for its proposed cybersecurity rules related to public companies, as well as for its investment advisers and funds proposal. Notably, the SEC’s timelines are typically estimates for implementation, and the proposed rules could be introduced sooner or later than these dates. However, the updated timeline indicates that the SEC is prioritizing finalizing its cybersecurity rules related to public companies and investment advisers and funds.
The new EU Regulation on Digital Operational Resilience for the Financial Sector (DORA) recently entered into force. DORA establishes cybersecurity requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) systems supporting the business processes of financial entities and represents a paradigm shift for the ICT sector. Critical ICT third-party service providers, who are providing services to regulated financial entities, will also be directly regulated under DORA and subject to regulatory supervision by a regulator to be established under DORA (a so-called ‘Lead Overseer’).
On March 15, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed three rules related to cybersecurity and the protection of consumer information and reopened the comment period for a proposed cybersecurity rule for investment advisers and funds. This significant action would impose new cybersecurity requirements for several SEC-registered entities, including with respect to these entities’ policies, incident response and notification procedures, and cybersecurity risk management. This Sidley commentary and analysis discusses the key features of each proposal, including new requirements and differences among each of the proposals.