Effective November 2, 2018, a new Ohio breach law will provide covered entities a legal safe harbor for certain data breach-related claims brought in an Ohio court or under Ohio law if, at the time of the breach, the entity maintains and complies with a cybersecurity program that (1) contains administrative, technical and physical safeguards for the protection of personal information, and (2) reasonably conforms to one of the “industry-recognized” cybersecurity frameworks enumerated in the law. Continue Reading New Ohio Law Creates Safe Harbor for Certain Breach-Related Claims

On November 1, 2018, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released a draft bill, the Consumer Data Protection Act, that seeks to “empower consumers to control their personal information.” The draft bill imposes heavy penalties on organizations and their executives, and would require senior executives of companies with more than one billion dollars per year of revenue or data on more than 50 million consumers to file annual data reports with the Federal Trade Commission. The draft bill would subject senior company executives to imprisonment for up to 20 years or fines up to $5 million, or both, for certifying false statements on an annual data report. Additionally, like the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the draft bill proposes a maximum fine of 4% of total annual gross revenue for companies that are found to be in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Continue Reading Draft Bill Imposes Steep Penalties, Expands FTC’s Authority to Regulate Privacy

In 2002, Congress enacted the Supporting Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (“the SAFETY Act”) to limit the liabilities that energy, financial, manufacturing and other critical infrastructure companies face in the event of a serious cyber or physical security attack. Continue Reading Webinar on the SAFETY Act and Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Reputation and Reducing Liability Risk

At its October monthly meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) adopted new reliability standards addressing cybersecurity risks associated with the global supply chain for Bulk Electric System (“BES”) Cyber Systems. The new standards expand the scope of the mandatory and enforceable cybersecurity standards applicable to the electric utility sector. They will require electric utilities and transmission grid operators to develop and implement plans that include security controls for supply chain management for industrial control systems, hardware, software and services.  Continue Reading FERC Adopts Supply Chain Risk Management Reliability Standards

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) co-chaired a meeting with industry leaders from the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (“ONG SCC”) in Washington, D.C. to address cybersecurity threats to pipelines. Together, DOE and DHS launched the Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative, which will harness DHS’s cybersecurity resources, DOE’s energy sector expertise, and the Transportation Security Administration’s (“TSA”) assessment of pipeline security to provide intelligence to natural gas companies and support ONG SCC’s efforts. “This meeting and the ones to follow will build upon the expanded cybersecurity measures in the recently updated Pipeline Security Guidelines and our collaboration with [DHS’s] National Risk Management Center to minimize the consequences of an attack or disruption,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. The Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative has been warmly received and complements other efforts in the energy industry, such as to the U.S. power grid, to enhance cybersecurity to protect critical infrastructure.

On October 19, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it released a paper on the Staff Perspective on the Informational Injury Workshop (the “Paper”), which summarized the outcomes of a workshop it hosted on December 12, 2017 to discuss and better understand “informational injuries” (i.e., harm suffered by consumers as a result of privacy and security incidents, such as data breaches or unauthorized disclosures of data) in an effort to guide (1) future policy determinations related to consumer injury and (2) future application of the “substantial injury” prong in cases involving informational injury. Continue Reading FTC Releases Staff Perspective on Informational Injuries

As reported on the Insurance Recovery Blog, Hunton Andrews Kurth insurance practice head Walter Andrews recently commented to the Global Data Review regarding the infirmities underlying an Orlando, Florida federal district court’s ruling that an insurer does not have to defend its insured for damage caused by a third-party data breach. Continue Reading Hunton Insurance Head Comments on Hotel Data Breach Coverage Dispute

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology recently announced that it is seeking public comment on Draft NISTIR 8228, Considerations for Managing Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks (the “Draft Report”). The document is to be the first in a planned series of publications that will examine specific aspects of the IoT topic. Continue Reading NIST Seeks Public Comment on Managing Internet of Things Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks