Category Archives: Cybersecurity

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Announces Data Breach of SEC Systems Which May Have Led to Insider Trading

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SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a public statement on Cybersecurity (the “Clayton Statement”) last week, disclosing a 2016 attack on the SEC’s database of corporate filings. The intrusion exploited a vulnerability in the test filing component of the EDGAR system, a document repository for disclosures from public companies and issuers, through which the intruder was able to gain access to nonpublic (and potentially sensitive) corporate information.  Though the intrusion was detected in 2016, Clayton stated that the agency learned only in August 2017 that the incident, “may have provided [...] Read more

FTC Announces First Privacy Shield Enforcement Actions

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The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it had settled charges against three companies alleged to have falsely claimed participation in Privacy Shield. Privacy Shield supports EU – U.S. transfers of personal data by helping U.S. companies demonstrate compliance with European Union data transfer rules. Companies participating in the program commit to meet specific program requirements designed to protect and limit use of personal data. These requirements include notice, choice, controls on onward transfers of data, independent recourse, and data security. Privacy Shield also requires [...] Read more

Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Scottrade Data Breach Suit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a putative class action brought by customers of the brokerage firm Scottrade in the wake of an alleged data breach impacting Scottrade in 2013.  The named plaintiffs had asserted several contract-based claims against Scottrade, alleging that Scottrade had violated its contractual obligations to take adequate steps to safeguard the personal identifying information (“PII”) of its customers. The Eighth Circuit first considered whether the plaintiffs had adequately alleged standing.  [...] Read more

FTC Updates Data Security Guidance for Businesses

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In June, the Federal Trade Commission released a new guide for businesses on implementing sound data security protections and procedures. In “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide For Business,” the FTC offers “10 practical lessons” based on the numerous enforcement actions brought by the FTC. The guide offers insight into the thinking of this key federal regulator. Key points from the guide: “Start with Security.” Build information security considerations into business processes so that they are part of “the decisionmaking in every department of your business.” The FTC [...] Read more

Alston & Bird Issues Cyber Alert on the New Chinese Cybersecurity Law and Regulations

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On Monday, June 26, 2017, Alston & Bird’s Kim Peretti, Justin Hemmings, and Emily Poole issued an advisory on recent changes in Chinese Cybersecurity Law. The new law asserts greater control over all data collection and generation in China, as well as the processing of data from Chinese data subjects. While the law entered into force on June 1, 2017, there is still uncertainty as to how the law will be interpreted and enforced, including which companies are subject to the law. The Advisory explores the scope and requirements of the Cybersecurity Law and reasonable interpretations of the [...] Read more

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

A Look Into Europe’s New Cybersecurity Regimes

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Europe is facing two important reforms addressing cybersecurity, which will apply in 2018. Jan Dhont and Delphine Charlot outlined the details of these regimes in an article for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, which you can read here.

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