NIST has now finalized its guidance providing important information on selecting both security and privacy control baselines for the Federal Government. The guidance is available here: Special Publication 800-53B, Control Baselines for Information Systems and Organizations. As we previously discussed when the draft version was released, these control baselines are from NIST Special Publication 800-53, and have been moved to this separate publication as a consolidated catalog of privacy and security controls. While the implementation of a minimum set of controls is required for protecting federal information systems, NIST envisions that these control baselines can be implemented by any organization that processes, stores, or transmits information.
Continue Reading NIST Finalizes Guidance on Security and Privacy Control Baselines – SP 800-53B

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently published an interim rule that sets forth its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program plan, as well as new requirements for a “NIST SP 800-171 DoD Assessment Methodology.” NIST SP 800-171 relates to protection of sensitive, but unclassified information (within a company’s system.) The interim rule will be effective November 30, 2020, and comments are due the same day. You can read our in-depth breakdown of the key provisions here.
Continue Reading Interim Rule Solidifies Cybersecurity Requirements for Defense Industrial Base

Late this summer the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced its first enforcement action since the cybersecurity rules went into effect in March 2017. The action was brought against First American Title Insurance Co. as a result of a 2018 data breach exposing 850 million customer records containing sensitive personal information.
Continue Reading What the First Enforcement Action under NYDFS Cybersecurity Reg Means to Companies

On Friday, May 29, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued the first in a series of six Cyber Essentials Toolkits.  These toolkits are described as “bite-sized actions for IT and C-suite leadership to work toward full implementation of each Cyber Essential,” focused on building a company’s cyber readiness.
Continue Reading CISA Issues First Installment of Cyber Essentials

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently published a set of observations designed to assist financial market participants. While not legally binding, the observations are guideposts for investment companies, securities issuers, and others. They outline steps to improve cyber preparedness and to protect against well-known and evolving cybersecurity threats faced by companies in the United States and worldwide.
Continue Reading Buyers (And Sellers) Beware!: SEC Observations on Cybersecurity and Resiliency

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (“CMMC”) v.1.0, after releasing several draft versions of the document over the past year. In an effort to enhance supply chain security, the CMMC sets forth unified cybersecurity standards that DOD contractors and suppliers (at all tiers, regardless of size or function) must meet to participate in future DOD acquisitions. Through the CMMC, DOD adds cybersecurity as a foundational element to the current DOD acquisition criteria of cost, schedule, and performance. We have previously discussed CMMC on our Government Contracts & Investigations Blog.
Continue Reading CMMC Version 1.0: Enhancing DOD’s Supply Chain Cybersecurity

The FTC recently summarized three major changes it made to its orders in data security cases. In a blog signaling these changes, the FTC Indicated that some of the things it has been requiring of companies in 2019 are here to stay.
Continue Reading New Trends Emerge in FTC Data Security Orders, Including Emphasis on C-Suite Involvement

In response to the killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani, the government of Iran and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have declared the country’s intention to strike back at the United States. According to reports, their desire is to respond proportionally, but not start a war, and they are contemplating multiple options, any subset of which they may implement.
Continue Reading Iran’s Imminent Cybersecurity Threat

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency recently released its Cyber Essentials guide. Consistent with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, these Cyber Essentials provide “a starting point to cyber readiness,” and are specifically aimed at small businesses and local government agencies that may have fewer resources to dedicate to cybersecurity.  The guide suggests a holistic approach for managing cyber risks, and is broken down into six “Essential Elements of a Culture of Cyber Readiness:” (1) Yourself; (2) Your Staff; (3) Your Systems; (4) Your Surroundings; (5) Your Data; and (6) Your Actions Under Stress. The final section of the guide provides a list of steps that can be taken immediately to increase organizational preparedness against cyber risks. These include backing up data, implementing multi-factor authentication, enabling automatic updates, and deploying patches quickly.
Continue Reading CISA Releases “Cyber Essentials” to Assist Small Businesses

“Internet of Things” devices are listening.  And now the federal government is taking notice. As we reported in our Government Contracts and Investigations blog, to date, federal cybersecurity regulations for government contractors focus on implementing safeguards to protect sensitive government data. A gap has emerged where the federal government purchases IoT devices. Those devices collect and send data online, and are thus are susceptible to hacking and listening in. Proposed legislation recently introduced in both the Senate (S.734) and the House (H.R. 1668) calls for new information security standards to manage these cybersecurity risks. This legislation would affect a wide range of IoT devices. I.e., a device connect to the internet that is not a “general purpose computing device.”
Continue Reading Feds Want New IoT Guidance to Address Security Vulnerabilities

For the fourth year running, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office continues to list cybersecurity as one of the top enforcement priorities for 2019. As it relates to cybersecurity, the SEC will be focusing on ensuring companies have proper configuration of network storage devices, robust information security governance, and established policies and procedures specific to protecting retail investors’ trading information and preventing cyber intrusions into retail brokerage accounts. The SEC also wants to see that companies manage both their own systems (including legacy systems), as well as maintaining adequate oversight of the practices of their partners and affiliates.
Continue Reading SEC To Focus on Cybersecurity in 2019