Category

Information Security

29 January 2019

FINRA Issues Its 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

On January 17, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its annual Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter (Letter), which identifies topics that FINRA will focus on in 2019. Unlike in previous years, this Letter primarily discusses new topics and priorities in areas of ongoing concern while not repeating topics that have been at the center of FINRA’s attention over the years. FINRA notes, however, that while traditional topics such as cybersecurity,1 recidivist brokers and anti-money-laundering (AML) may not be discussed extensively in the Letter, FINRA will nonetheless review firms for compliance regarding these areas of focus.

As always, firms should use the Letter to review their compliance and supervisory procedures carefully and make any necessary revisions. Firms also should be prepared to explain their compliance and supervisory policies in these areas in their upcoming FINRA examinations and provide documentation of relevant reviews. The following is a discussion of some of the more salient points of the FINRA Letter. (more…)

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14 January 2019

Ohio Adopts National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Insurance Data Security Model Law

On December 19, 2018, Ohio adopted the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Insurance Data Security Model Law.  By doing so, Ohio joins South Carolina as the second state to have adopted the Model Law and the fourth state – along with Connecticut and New York – to have enacted cybersecurity regulations for insurance companies.  See CT Gen Stat § 38a-999b (2015); 23 NYCRR 500.  (For more information on South Carolina’s adoption of the Model Law, see our prior coverage.)  (more…)

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08 January 2019

HHS Releases Cybersecurity Guidance for Healthcare Organizations

On December 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a four-volume cybersecurity guidance document for healthcare organizations. The publication, “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients” (HICP), is the result of a government and industry collaboration mandated by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. The HICP is not limited to individually identifiable health information but instead covers organizations’ enterprise-level information security more generally. HHS describes the publication as “practical, understandable, implementable, industry-led, and consensus-based voluntary cybersecurity guidelines to cost-effectively reduce cybersecurity risks for healthcare organizations of varying sizes.” Notwithstanding their voluntary nature, these HHS-backed cybersecurity recommendations are likely to serve as an important reference point for the industry. (more…)

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29 October 2018

FERC Approves NERC’s Supply Chain Risk Management Reliability Standards and Directs NERC to Expand Their Scope

A string of Governmental announcements have increasingly sounded the alarm about the growing cybersecurity threat facing the energy sector.  Among other things, these reports have announced that state-sponsored cyber actors have successfully gained access to the control rooms of utilities.  The hackers, one of the reports notes, could have used such access to cause blackouts.

(more…)

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25 October 2018

SEC Cautions Public Companies to Address Cyber Threats as Part of Internal Accounting Controls

On October 16, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took the unusual step of issuing a Report of Investigation cautioning public companies that they should consider cyber threats and related human vulnerabilities when designing and implementing their internal accounting controls. The report is an outgrowth of an investigation conducted by the SEC’s Enforcement Division into whether certain public companies that were victims of cyber fraud complied with the federal securities laws requiring public companies to implement and maintain internal accounting controls. The controls provided by these provisions must be sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that transactions occur (e.g., purchasing equipment), and access to assets is permitted (e.g., checking accounts, warehouses), only in accordance with management’s authorization.

(more…)

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09 October 2018

Highlighting the Chinese Cybersecurity Law

Former Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Hugo Teufel III and Sidley’s Edward McNicholas addressed a packed room on Chinese Cybersecurity Law at the 2018 Privacy + Security Forum hosted at George Washington University.  The timely presentation highlighted how, with significant attention in the past few years focused on the GDPR, many have not fully appreciated the significant policy and legal developments coming out of Beijing.  In particular, China has been creating a materially different approach to cybersecurity which serves the central purpose of defending the Chinese notion of cyber sovereignty.  Much uncertainty remains about the newly-effective laws and regulations, but it is clear that foreign technology and other companies operating in China should rapidly focus on its significant restrictions on outbound data transfer, the expansive definitions of “important data”, as well as reviews of network equipment security. Their presentation is available here.

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05 October 2018

White House and Pentagon Announce New Cyber Strategies

The Trump Administration continued to put its stamp on federal cybersecurity policy last week, as the White House issued its National Cyber Strategy while the Pentagon announced the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy.  The former document is a helpful step forward that continues and advances the cyber policies the Trump Administration inherited from the Obama and Bush Administrations, while the Pentagon’s release primarily focused on the Strategy’s endorsement of “Defense Forward,” which was taken as a signal the United States would be adopting a more aggressive operational posture in the future.  Data Matters readers will want to study both strategies, as each contains interesting insights into how the Trump Administration envisions the development of the cybersecurity ecosystem and see the public and private sectors working together to mitigate cyber risks.  (more…)

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25 September 2018

Movement Towards a Comprehensive U.S. Federal Privacy Law: Witnesses Prepare to Testify in Senate Hearing

The last six months have been busy ones for privacy watchers, with the entry into force of the GDPR and the enactment and amendment of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

An increasing number of eyes are now turning to the U.S. Congress to see how it will react to these developments, and Data Matters – and the privacy community generally – will thus be closely watching the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, when it hosts a hearing titled “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy.” (more…)

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29 August 2018

DataGuidance’s Thought Leaders in Privacy: Vishnu Shankar

Vishnu Shankar, an associate in our London office, spoke with DataGuidance at the 2018 IAPP Data Protection Intensive. He discussed his recommendations on regulatory requirements regarding breach notification across several key pieces of legislation, including the GDPR and the NIS Directive, as well as sector-specific requirements.

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27 August 2018

NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation: Additional Cybersecurity Program Safeguards Due September 4, 2018

Companies subject to New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation are acting quickly to finalize their compliance obligations as the fifth “due date,” September 4, 2018, quickly approaches.

By September 4, 2018, Covered Entities must ensure that their cybersecurity programs have in place certain additional safeguards:

  • an audit trail that shows detection of and response to material cybersecurity events;
  • written security procedures, guidelines, and standards for the development of in-house applications and for the evaluation and testing of externally developed applications;
  • data retention policies and procedures for the disposal on a periodic basis of nonpublic information no longer necessary for business operations;
  • risk-based policies, procedures, and controls to monitor the activity of authorized users and detect unauthorized access; and security controls, such as encryption, to protect non-public business relations and personal information.

Notably, for this upcoming deadline, Covered Entities that have received a limited exemption must still comply with the regulatory provision regarding data retention policies and procedures for the periodic disposal of nonpublic information. (more…)

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