Equifax Agrees to Largest Ever Data Breach Settlement

In connection with the massive 2017 Equifax data breach which affected more than 147 million consumers, a global settlement has been reached to resolve a multi-district consumer action as well as a suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission. Equifax, one of the largest consumer reporting agencies, was allegedly aware of a critical security vulnerability in March 2017. However, it failed to address the issue until July 2017, when suspicious traffic was detected. Ultimately, on September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a data breach involving…
Continue reading...

Fedex Becomes Victim of Latest Spat of Large Scale Cyber-Related Securities Class Actions

As if anyone needed yet another reminder of the invasive effect a cybersecurity event can have on a business, we need not to look any further than the  putative securities fraud class action lawsuits filed against global logistics giant FedEx. On June 26, 2019, the first lawsuit against FedEx was filed in the Southern District of New York. The complaint generally alleges that FedEx violated federal securities laws when it made allegedly fraudulent disclosures concerning the extent of the impact caused by the NotPetya malware…
Continue reading...

Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act

On January 1, 2020, California’s “Security of Connected Devices” law (Senate Bill No. 327), which was enacted in 2018, will require companies that manufacture any device that connects “directly or indirectly” to the Internet that is sold in California to incorporate within the device “a reasonable security feature or features.” What constitutes as a “reasonable security feature” is largely undefined, but if the device is capable of authentication outside of a local area network (LAN), then the security will be deemed reasonable if a preprogrammed…
Continue reading...

2019 Verizon Data Breach Report: Updating Consumers On How to Protect Themselves Again

The 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) was released at the end of May. This report provides an overview of data and statistical research relating to cyber threats as well as potential defenses to counteract them. The overall goal of the DBIR is to provide potential information and suggestions relating to protection as well as cyberattack recovery.  This year’s report proved to be the most extensive review yet conducted, tracking 41,686 security incidents around the world, including 2,013 data breaches from 86 countries and…
Continue reading...

Resolution Agreement Requires Medical Imaging Company to Pay $3 Million to Settle Data Breach

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed on May 6, 2019 that Tennessee-based Touchstone Medical Imaging (TMI) entered into a Resolution Agreement (RA) requiring them to pay a $3 million fine to settle a data breach that exposed over 300,000 patients’ protected health information (PHI). In addition to the significant monetary fine, TMI must adopt a corrective action plan that will address shortfalls in the company’s compliance with HIPAA Security and Breach Notification Rules, which is…
Continue reading...

Vermont’s “Data Brokers” Law is a Glimpse into the Future for Many Industries

Cybersecurity has been a field where the concept of state governments acting as legislative laboratories has been observed in real time, with multiple states passing different pieces of legislation every year. One of the more unique laws passed in 2018, and effective as of January 1, 2019, is Vermont’s descriptively titled “act relating to data brokers and consumer protection.” Although unknown to most consumers, there is a booming industry of “data brokers” who act as middlemen between companies who collect data and those looking to…
Continue reading...

3D Printing: A Cybersecurity Concern

Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. Additive manufacturing is already used in a number of critical fields, such as medicine, aerospace, civil engineering, and industrial manufacturing. 3D printers are often internet-connected, and increasingly open-sourced. As a result, they face a host of security issues which range from digital to physical. Most of these issues fall broadly into either confidentiality and privacy concerns or device and product integrity concerns. Confidentiality and privacy…
Continue reading...

SEC’s First Cybersecurity Enforcement Has Many Lessons

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced its first ever cyber-related enforcement action in a case that all companies should look at as a refresher on cybersecurity hygiene. In the Matter of Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. was brought against the publicly traded company that manages over $500 billion after a security breach through several of its brokers acting as independent contractors for the company. These brokers typically accessed Voya clients’ PII through a password protected web portal while using their own IT equipment and networks.…
Continue reading...

Should American Companies Be Worried About Security Risks Posed By Chinese Telecoms?

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle recently wrote a letter to Google to express “concerns” about its strategic partnership with Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei Technologies, based on security risks related to state-sponsored espionage. As noted by the lawmakers, the heads of the CIA, NSA, FBI, and Defense Intelligence Agency have voiced similar concerns that smartphones made by China’s two largest manufacturers, Hauwei and ZTE., pose a security threat to American customers.  Moreover, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre found that…
Continue reading...

The SEC is Focused on Public Company Disclosure of Cybersecurity Risks

While new data privacy rules in the European Union have dominated the news lately, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not so quietly been making waves of its own in the regulation of cybersecurity. In February ,the SEC issued fresh guidance to public companies on the disclosure of cybersecurity issues, both in identifying risks prospectively and in disclosing breaches quickly. It then followed up that guidance in April with its first ever fine of a public company for failing to promptly disclose a…
Continue reading...