Delaware’s Court of Chancery recently dismissed a derivative claim brought by an alleged shareholder of SolarWinds, claiming that the Company’s current and former directors breached their fiduciary duties by failing to ensure that SolarWinds had minimal cybersecurity protections.  A cross-practice team of Ropes & Gray litigation and data privacy attorneys represented Kevin Thompson, SolarWinds’ former

The FTC’s recent publication, FTC Safeguards Rule: What Your Business Needs to Know (the “Guide”), provides a helpful overview of the FTC’s recent Safeguards Rule amendments. The FTC’s Safeguards Rule is applicable to “financial institutions,” such as private funds, subject to the FTC’s jurisdiction but not the jurisdiction of another regulator under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). Ropes & Gray has previous reviewed the Safeguards Rule amendments here and here. The Guide does not break any substantial new ground but does provide a useful summary of the Safeguards Rule’s security requirements along with additional details regarding the controls the FTC considers part of a reasonable information security program.

The Guide identifies nine elements of an information security program required under the Safeguards Rule. Companies that maintain personal information regarding fewer than 5,000 consumers are not subject to all of these requirements, as summarized further here. Additionally, companies are not required to have in place all of the controls described until December of this year, but should work toward implementation now, as many will require time intensive processes.

Continue Reading FTC Publishes Guide to Safeguards Rule Compliance Applicable to Private Funds

Banking organizations and their service providers are now subject to a tight 36-hour breach notification timeframe—the shortest timeline of any U.S. data breach notification law. Starting earlier this month, on May 1, covered banks and providers were required to be in full compliance with a new cyber incident notification rule (“Banking Rule”), issued by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) (“the Agencies”), mandating disclosure of triggering cybersecurity incidents (“notification incidents”) within 36 hours after an organization determines such an incident has occurred.

As we observed in a previous post, the Banking Rule, which became effective on April 1, comes at a time when cyberattacks are on the rise and when regulators have, in response to increasing cyber intrusions, enacted or proposed a series of stringent incident reporting requirements. In December 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) proposed an amendment to the recently updated Safeguards Rule that, if adopted, would require covered financial institutions to report to the FTC any security event involving the misuse of customer information of at least 1,000 consumers. Shortly thereafter, in February, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed extensive new rules for registered investment advisers and registered investment companies (“funds”) that would, among other things, require advisers to report “significant adviser cybersecurity incidents” and “significant fund cybersecurity incidents” to the SEC within 48 hours of concluding an incident occurred. A month later, the SEC followed up with proposed updates its public-company cybersecurity disclosure rules, which, if adopted, would compel issuers to file an amended Form 8-K within four business days after a triggering material cybersecurity incident took place.

Notably, the final Banking Rule, as well as the flurry of recently proposed cyber reporting regulations, surfaced against the backdrop of the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (“CIRCIA”), which President Biden signed into law in March, that requires owners and operators of critical infrastructure to report cyber incidents to the Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Agency (CISA) within 72 hours. CIRCIA’s 72-hour timeframe is in line with the breach reporting timeline of the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) Cybersecurity Regulation, which applies to certain insurance and other financial services companies licensed in New York.

Continue Reading Banks Must Comply with 36-Hour Notification Rule for Certain Cyber Incidents

On April 8, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) released a draft guidance document titled “Cybersecurity in Medical Devices: Quality System Considerations and Content of Premarket Submissions.” The draft guidance, if finalized, would replace FDA’s 2014 final guidance document titled, “Content of Premarket Submissions for Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices,” adding significant

Data, privacy & cybersecurity partners Ed McNicholas and Fran Faircloth and counsel Kevin Angle authored a chapter in Chambers Global Practice Guide Cybersecurity 2022 on “USA Law & Practice and Trends & Developments.” The chapter provides an overview of cybersecurity regulation in the United States and provides insights on the multitude of cybersecurity

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed into law significant new federal data breach reporting legislation that could vastly expand data breach notice requirements far beyond regulated entities or entities processing personal data. Unceremoniously tucked as Division Y into the H.R. 2471 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of

On March 9, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed updates to its disclosure rules intended to “enhance and standardize” public company disclosure regarding cybersecurity risk management, strategy, governance, and incident reporting (the “Proposed Rules”). The Proposed Rules may require issuers to update their disclosure controls and procedures, in particular with respect

On March 1, 2022, the Senate passed a data breach and cybersecurity bill that could vastly expand data breach notice requirements. The Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act (the “Senate Bill”), which now shifts to the House of Representatives, would require organizations in certain critical infrastructure sectors to report substantial cybersecurity incidents to the Department of Homeland Security within 72 hours after the organization reasonably believes the cyberincident has occurred, among other measures intended to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity posture. Covered organizations would also be required to report ransom payments within 24 hours of making a payment in response to a ransomware attack. These provisions are not limited to data breaches affecting personal data and would significantly expand the breadth of data breach reporting requirements to many commercial enterprises that have not focused on consumer privacy issues.

While the bill was criticized by FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco for shifting cyber-focus from the DOJ/FBI to DHS/CISA, it remains likely to pass the House, where similar legislation was supported last year as part of the annual defense authorization package. In addition to its breach reporting provisions, the Senate Bill would also require or encourage new cybersecurity measures for federal agencies, clarify the roles of certain cybersecurity officials and authorize the federal contractor cybersecurity FedRAMP program for five years.

Continue Reading Senate Approves Breach Reporting Legislation; Likely to Pass House

Anxiety is running high as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly in cybersecurity circles. The 2017 NotPetya attack was a Russian cyber-weapon fired at the Ukraine.  In 2017, NotPetya spread to FedEx, Maersk, Merck, and several other companies, and it would be naïve not to expect a spillover from the 2022 attack.  Indeed, a barrage of similar “wipers” has already been fired in 2022, and reports are circulating that some computers in Lithuania have been impacted.

Many cyber-weapons are delivered through phishing attacks, and companies can take three important steps to help prevent these attacks:

  • Send out a training reminder to all employees about spotting and avoiding phish email that may carry the malware into your environment.
  • Recognize that training will not be enough; increase filtering for malicious messages.
  • Push for multi-factor authentication for remote access to email.


Continue Reading The Ukrainian Cybersecurity Spillover Problem

On February 9, 2022, the SEC published a release addressing Cybersecurity Risk Management for Investment Advisers, Registered Investment Companies, and Business Development Companies (“Release”). The Release contained proposed new rules under the Advisers Act (Rules 206(4)-9 and 204-6) and the Investment Company Act of 1940 (Rule 38a-2) and amendments (collectively, the “Proposals”), which would require