Category Archives: Cybersecurity

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Allows Wikimedia Upstream Suit to Proceed

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On May 23, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion on Wikimedia foundation v. NSA/CSS. The Court vacated and remanded the NSA’s previously successful motion to dismiss Wikimedia’s Fourth and First Amendment claims against the NSA’s Upstream surveillance program, while a 2-1 majority upheld the dismissal of the eight other organizations joined as co-plaintiffs. The Court held that Wikimedia’s complaint contained sufficient factual allegations to determine Article III standing and that the District Court misapplied Clapper v. Amnesty International USA’s analysis of [...] Read more

President Trump Signs Long-Awaited Cyber Executive Order

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On May 11, 2017, President Trump signed a long-awaited executive order on cybersecurity (the “Order”).  The Order directs executive agencies to complete a risk management report based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (the “Framework”) and also requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies to undertake activities in support of effective cybersecurity risk management for operators of critical infrastructure.  More generally, the Order directs several agencies to submit reports to the President on a varied set of cybersecurity-related topics.  These measures demonstrate [...] Read more

Outbreak of “WannaCry” and “Wanna Decryptor” Ransomware Affects Companies Across the Globe

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On Friday, May 12, companies in countries across the globe witnessed an unprecedented malware outbreak as ransomware labeled “WannaCry” and “Wanna Decryptor” infected a large range of critical systems. The malware exploits a vulnerability in older versions of Microsoft’s Windows, locks the systems it infects, and threatens to delete files unless a bitcoin ransom is paid. What happened? An attacker or group of attackers unleashed a wave of ransomware infections beginning on Friday, May 12. More so than previous attacks, this outbreak resulted in substantial disruption to regular [...] Read more

New York Attorney General Announces Record Number of Data Breach Notices in 2016

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On March 21, 2017, New York Attorney General (NYAG) Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office had received a record breaking 1,282 data breach notices to his office affecting 1.6 million New York residents during 2016. Compared to 2015, these figures represent a 60 percent increase in the number of notices and a 300 percent increase in the number of New York residents affected. These research figures build on the NYAG’s 2014 report “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Security in New York State,” which analyzed eight years of security breach statistics in New York from [...] Read more

Australia Adopts New Data Breach Notification Legislation

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On February 13, 2017 Australia became one more among nation states adopting data breach notification legislation. In recent House and Senate votes, the Australian Parliament amended the Privacy Act 1988, introducing mandatory data breach notification requirements for entities regulated by the Privacy Act. Who is Subject to the New Legislation? The recent bill requires entities with revenue over $3 million AUD ($2.3 million USD) and certain credit reporting bodies and recipients of tax file number information to notify both the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals “as [...] Read more

New York Financial Services Regulator Issues Revisions to Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation

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Today, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a revised version of the proposed cybersecurity regulations that it first issued in September.  According to a press release issued by DFS Superintendent Vullo, the new version of the proposed rules will be finalized following a 30-day notice and public comment period. Among the most notable changes are an extension of the effective date to March 1, 2017, an array of longer transition periods for various sections of the regulation, increased emphasis on risk assessment, and a slight reduction in the extremely broad scope of [...] Read more

Center for Cyber & Homeland Security Issues Report on How the Private Sector Can Actively Defend Against Cyber Threats

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Earlier this year, the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at the George Washington University (“Center”) announced a new project on active defense against cyber threats. The Center  established a high-level task force to examine these issues.  The task force included prominent cybersecurity and industry experts, including Alston & Bird partner Michael Zweiback. The Task Force successfully released its final report in October. It is available here. The report comes at a time when cyber vulnerabilities have been exploited by hostile state and non-state actors in cyberspace [...] Read more

Bank Regulators Issue Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Cyber Risk Governance and Management Regulations

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More regulators (apart from the FTC) are now taking note of cybersecurity issues in the financial services industry and are taking steps to protect the industry and its consumers. Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued its first enforcement action on data security against an online payment system.   In June, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”), an interagency body, issued a press release advising financial institutions to review their risk-management practices.  Last month, the New York State Department of Financial [...] Read more

New York State Financial Services Regulator Issues Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations

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On September 13, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the issuance of proposed “first-in-the-nation” cybersecurity regulations for entities regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), including jurisdictional banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.  The proposed regulation will be subject to a 45-day comment period prior to being issued as a final rule.  Once finalized, the regulation would become effective on January 1, 2017, at which point a 180 day "transitional period" would go into effect, during which entities would need to come into compliance [...] Read more