FTC Seeks Comment on Proposed Amendments to Safeguards and Privacy Rules

The FTC is seeking comment on proposed changes to the Safeguards Rule and the Privacy Rule under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Safeguards Rule requires a financial institution to maintain a comprehensive information security program. The Privacy Rule requires a financial institution to inform customers about its information-sharing practices. Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says the amendments are meant to, “better protect consumers and provide more certainty for business.”

NIST Privacy Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released working draft of a standard Privacy Framework meant to, “help organizations: better identify, assess, manage, and communicate privacy risks; foster the development of innovative approaches to protecting individuals’ privacy; and increase trust in products and services.”

AG Racine Proposes Changes to Data Breach Law

District of Columbia AG Racine introduced legislation to amend the District’s current data breach law in an effort to provide greater protection over personal data.  Specifically, the AG proposes:

  • Holding companies accountable for safeguarding a broader range of private information;
  • Creating security requirements for companies that handle personal information;
  • Requiring companies to provide identity theft protection if they expose Social Security numbers; and
  • Requiring companies to inform consumers of their rights when a data breach occurs.

Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019

Bipartisan legislation meant to improve the cybersecurity of Internet-connected devices was introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The legislation would require that devices purchased by the U.S. government meet certain minimum security requirements.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a report titled “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients.” HHS details the following notable statistics to underscore the need for continuing improvement in cybersecurity for those in the healthcare industry: (1) in the United States, four out of five physicians have reported experiencing some form of cyberattack; (2) ninety percent of small businesses do not use any data protection for customer information (including the healthcare industry), (3) fifty-eight percent of malware attack victims are small businesses, and (4) healthcare has the highest data breach cost per record of any industry — almost double of the second highest industry, the financial sector.  These statistics underscore the need for a robust cybersecurity plan for anyone in the healthcare industry, especially smaller companies or providers who may have traditionally ignored cybersecurity protection measures due to the associated costs. Continue Reading HHS Issues Voluntary Cybersecurity Guidance for the Healthcare Industry

Penetration testing or conducting a pen test can be a key element in a firm’s arsenal to protect itself against cyber intrusions. Firms use pen tests to test potential vulnerabilities of their networks, determine where there may be gaps, and assess their cybersecurity defenses. Today’s post is the fourth in a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices may impact your business. Please click here for the first, second, and third posts on cybersecurity practice impacts. Continue Reading FINRA’s 2018 Report on Cybersecurity Practices: Cybersecurity and Pen Testing: Why Go Looking for Trouble?

Freshman Delegate Hala Ayala recently introduced House Bill 2793 in this session of the Virginia General Assembly.  If enacted, the legislation will impose new requirements on businesses with regard to the disposal of certain consumer records and manufacturers in the design and maintenance of devices that connect to the internet. Continue Reading Virginia General Assembly to Consider Minimum Security Standards for Care and Disposal Consumer Information and Security of Connected Devices

On December 20, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a report on cybersecurity practices for broker-dealers. Today’s post is the second in a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices impact your business. Please click here for the first post on cybersecurity practice impacts.

FINRA names “phishing” attacks as one of the most common cybersecurity threats raised by firms with the self-regulator.[1] The goal of a phishing email is to manipulate the recipient into taking action. FINRA focuses on two types of phishing attacks in the report. The first is “spear phishing,” where the sender researches and targets the recipient(s) with a customized approach designed to get confidential information from the individual(s). The second is “whaling,” wherein the hacker sends targeted emails impersonating senior executives at the firm in order to set action in motion, typically wiring funds to specifically identified accounts.    Continue Reading FINRA’s 2018 Report on Cybersecurity Practices – Preventing “Spear Phishing” and “Whaling” Attacks

On December 20, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a report on cybersecurity practices for broker-dealers. This post is the first of a series of summaries sharing essential, timely insight on how these practices impact your business. The Report follows close on the heels of FINRA’s annual Report on Examination Findings issued Dec. 14, 2018. Now we know why Cybersecurity, a top regulatory and examination priority for FINRA in 2018, was not included in their examination findings report. Not surprising, albeit somewhat unusual, the importance of the topic and FINRA’s insights warranted a separate communication. Continue Reading FINRA Issues 2018 Report on Selected Cybersecurity Practices

As previously discussed, software as a service (SaaS) solutions offer the allure of being able to outsource IT for data storage.  Being able to rely on someone else to protect you sounds great, but is it really?  Losing control over your sensitive data requires serious diligence of the third party vendor.  Caveat emptor: SaaS solutions can expose companies to unknown risks. Tips to avoid those risks are discussed below.

Continue Reading Three More Risks to Consider with SaaS Solutions

On November, 2, 2018, Ohio’s recently passed Data Protection Act (Act) officially became law. The Act provides a possible affirmative defense to businesses in lawsuits where the plaintiff alleges a tort based on a business’ failure to implement a cybersecurity framework.

Importantly, the new law does not create a minimum cybersecurity standard in Ohio or new cybersecurity regulations that businesses must follow. Rather, the law operates by incentivizing businesses to develop and maintain a cybersecurity program that “reasonably conforms” to an already existing, industry recognized cybersecurity framework. If the company can prove that it had a compliant cybersecurity program in place at the time of a breach, the company can use the program’s existence as an affirmative defense to certain tort claims. Continue Reading New Cybersecurity Law Offers Safe Harbor Against Tort Claims

As a part of National Cybersecurity Month, last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a campaign to help educate and assist small businesses with cybersecurity.  In conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Small Business Administration (SBA), the FTC has published a collection of materials for small businesses about cybersecurity. These materials include information about the following:

  • Cybersecurity Basics;
  • Understanding the NIST Cybersecurity Framework;
  • Physical Security;
  • Ransomware;
  • Phishing;
  • Business Email Imposters;
  • Tech Support Scams;
  • Vendor Security;
  • Cyber Insurance;
  • Email Authentication;
  • Hiring a Web Host; and
  • Secure Remote Access.

Additional information about the cybersecurity campaign and access to the materials can be found here.

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CA IoT Cybersecurity Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk
The bill (SB-327), if signed by Gov. Brown, will take effect on January 1, 2020. It is aimed at securing connected devices. The bill states that, “a manufacturer of a connected device shall equip the device with a reasonable security feature or features.”

House Approves Financial Sector Data Breach Bill
On Sept. 13 the House Financial Services Committee approved bill (H.R. 6743) to create a national data breach notification standard for the financial sector. The bill would amend the GLBA and preempt state law for institutions covered under the financial services law.

Department of Commerce Launches Collaborative Privacy Framework Effort
NIST announced it has launched a collaborative project to develop a voluntary privacy framework to help organizations manage risk. NIST will hold a public workshop on Oct. 16, 2018, in Austin, Texas—in conjunction with the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Privacy. Security. Risk. 2018.

Upcoming Events:

McGuireWoods HIPAA Webinar Series: September 24, 2018 
This webinar will examine the application of HIPAA to the ever-growing array of mobile health applications and devices, with an emphasis on the design and security implications of such devices.