Archives: Cybersecurity

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Tennessee Updates Data Breach Notification Law

The State of Tennessee recently amended its data breach notification statute, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-2107, which is set to go into effect on July 1, 2016. Numerous commentators have proclaimed that the amendment1 marks a watershed moment—that with the enactment of S.B. 2005, Tennessee becomes the first state to eliminate the encryption safe harbor … Continue Reading

CFPB Brings First Data Security Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently brought its first data security enforcement action, adding itself to the growing list of federal regulators tackling data security issues. The CFPB’s enforcement action was against Dwolla Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa-based online payment platform. The CFPB alleged that Dwolla misrepresented its data security practices, and as a … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: New EU Data Protection Regulation Is Now Enacted

On April 14, 2016, the European Parliament formally adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With this vote, the new EU data protection legal framework will become legally effective in two years and 20 days from its publication in the EU Official Journal (expected in May 2016). By May 2018, companies will have to comply … Continue Reading

WSGR Alert: FTC Settles with Manufacturer of Home Network Routers over Alleged Data Security Flaws

On February 23, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS). The ASUS settlement highlights the FTC’s position regarding security in the connected device market: connected device manufacturers are responsible for security shortcomings in their devices and are expected to promptly update or patch any identified … Continue Reading

FAST Act Eases GLBA Compliance Burdens for Many Companies, Addresses Transportation and Infrastructure Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues

President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law on December 4, 2015. The FAST Act not only provides long-term funding for highway and infrastructure improvements and other transportation projects, but also includes several privacy- and security-related provisions, including an important provision that may reduce consumer confusion and industry compliance costs … Continue Reading

EU Agrees to New Cybersecurity and Incident Notification Rules

The European Union will soon have its own first-ever cybersecurity rules, which will impact a broad range of industries, such as transportation, energy, and online marketplaces. On December 7, 2015, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, which is comprised of representatives of the 28 EU countries, reached a political agreement on … Continue Reading

PCI Security Standards Council Issues Guidance on Responding to a Data Breach

On September 29, 2015, the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) issued guidance regarding data breach responses for merchants and service providers who process payment cards. The PCI SSC is a global forum founded by card brands (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa), and it is responsible for the development and management of the … Continue Reading

SEC Increases Focus on Cybersecurity–A Look at Recent Data Security Guidance and Enforcement

In the wake of numerous cyberattacks aimed at companies spanning various industries, it is no surprise that yet another federal agency—this time the SEC—is stressing the importance of proper cybersecurity protocols for the entities it regulates. Broker-dealers, investment advisors, and others in the securities industry often have access to some of the most sensitive client … Continue Reading

FTC Begins “Start with Security” Conference Series

On September 9, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held its first “Start with Security” conference at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. The conference was the first in a series of events hosted by the agency intended to provide additional guidance to businesses regarding how to keep consumers’ … Continue Reading

Privacy and Data Security Due Diligence

This article is the third in a series of articles that discuss the importance of privacy and data security considerations in the transactional context. In any transaction in which an entity invests in or acquires another business or its assets, the investing or acquiring entity (the “Acquiror”) should fully evaluate its counterparty (the “Company”), the … Continue Reading

Technical Standards Open New Avenue to EU Data Protection Compliance

Historically, businesses have called for greater connection between the legal requirements of European data protection law and the requirements of information technology standards. The new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for securely processing personal information in cloud computing environments, ISO 27018, could be a significant and major first step toward creating technical standards that … Continue Reading

FTC Closing Letter Confirms the Importance of Implementing Employee Access Controls

Companies have been pressing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional guidance on data security, and the agency recently delivered. On August 10, 2015, the FTC issued a public closing letter to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (Morgan Stanley) regarding the agency’s investigation into concerns that the company “fail[ed] to secure, in a reasonable and … Continue Reading

DOJ Issues Guidance for Responding to Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks can result in significant monetary and reputational damage to a wide range of businesses. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) increased its efforts to engage businesses on cybersecurity issues. Earlier this year, as part of that effort, the department published a new resource for companies victimized by a cyber attack. The guidance, … Continue Reading

FCC Open Internet Rules Contain Important New Privacy, Data Security, and Transparency Measures

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) newly promulgated Open Internet rules (2015 rules)—also known as the net neutrality rules—went into effect on June 12, 2015.1 The new rules apply specifically to broadband Internet access service providers, and not to Internet content, application, and device providers (edge providers). Nonetheless, by design, the rules will have a potentially … Continue Reading

President Obama Creates New Sanctions Regime to Combat Foreign Cyberthreats

On April 1, 2015, President Obama issued an executive order declaring “cyber-enabled malicious activities” a national emergency due to the “increasing prevalence and severity” of such attacks originating from or directed by persons outside the United States.1 The executive order gives the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary … Continue Reading

New EU Trends: Cybersecurity and Breach Notification

On June 29, 2015, the Council of the European Union (comprised of representatives of the 28 EU Member States) reached a political agreement with the European Parliament on the main principles of the draft Directive on Network and Information Security (NIS Directive) governing cybersecurity issues.1 The draft NIS Directive is an advanced piece of draft … Continue Reading

Navigating Public Company Cybersecurity Obligations: Advising Boards and Disclosing to Investors

This article is the second in a series of articles that discuss the importance of privacy and data security considerations in the transactional context. In light of numerous costly security breaches affecting disparate sectors of the American economy, public companies—ranging from merchants like Target Corporation and The Home Depot to technology firms like Adobe Systems, … Continue Reading

Recent Executive Order to Push for Security of Consumer Financial Transactions, Identity Theft Remediation

On October 17, 2014, the White House released its plans for a “BuySecure Initiative” in an executive order entitled “Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions.” The initiative aims to push the market toward adopting more secure payment methods and to reduce the burden on consumers seeking to remediate identity theft incidents. The White House … Continue Reading

FCC Dives into Privacy and Data Security Enforcement

Making a splash with its first-ever data security enforcement actions, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered uncharted waters late last year by aggressively asserting its role in safeguarding consumer information. In the fall of 2014, for the first time, the FCC took administrative enforcement action in two instances against telecommunications carriers that misused data, misrepresented … Continue Reading

California Amends Data Breach Notification Law and State Attorney General’s Data Breach Report May Lead to More Changes

Prompted by data breaches affecting large retailers in the United States, the California legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 1710 (A.B. 1710) to update the state’s breach notification law to require breached entities to provide free credit monitoring services to affected individuals following certain types of data breaches. This change, effective January 1, 2015, was recommended … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Reduce Barriers to Cyber Threat Information Sharing

Federal regulators released guidance in the first half of 2014 that should provide comfort to businesses that are considering sharing information relating to cybersecurity risks with other companies and the government. Although these advisory opinions are nonbinding and do not carry the force of law, they provide strong indications of the priorities of the U.S. … Continue Reading

FTC Recommends Improved Transparency and Security in Mobile Shopping Apps

In August 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a staff report that evaluates the consumer disclosures made by a number of popular mobile shopping applications and makes recommendations to the providers and users of those apps.1 The FTC staff did not address or find any fault with app platforms, like Google Play or Apple’s … Continue Reading

Privacy and Data Security Risk Assessments: An Overview

Recent large-scale data breaches provide a stark reminder of the risks and challenges associated with today’s data-driven economy. The exploding number of devices connected to the Internet and amount of information collected about people by organizations make it increasingly important for officers, directors, and senior management to fully understand the privacy and data security risks … Continue Reading

The Wyndham Rulings and the FTC’s Leadership on Data Security Enforcement

Despite reaching settlements with more than 50 organizations on data security issues since the late 1990s, no organization seriously challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to bring such cases until FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. made headlines in 20121 The case brought rampant speculation from the privacy and data security community on the likely … Continue Reading
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