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EU-U.S. Privacy Shield – Full Text Released

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission released the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The text reveals the details of a new framework that will place stronger obligations on U.S. companies to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It will also involve heightened compliance requirements and authorizes enforcement measures by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the...

EU-US Privacy Shield: European Union and U.S. Reach Agreement in Principle for New Data Transfer Framework – But Uncertainty Remains

On February 2, 2016, the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced that they had reached agreement on a new data transfer safe harbor arrangement for the transfer of personal data from Europe to the U.S. The new safe harbor pact, called the EU-US Privacy Shield, was negotiated in the wake of the EU Court of Justice’s (CJEU) decision in October...

FINRA Warns Broker-dealers About Increase in Denial-of-service Attacks

FINRA warned broker-dealers last week that several FINRA members have recently been the victims of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks from a criminal group known as DD4BC. (In general terms, a DDoS attack bombards a target website with messages in an effort to make the site unavailable to legitimate users.) According to FINRA, DD4BC first sends its target a ransom request for...

FBI Makes Broker-dealers an Offer They Can’t Refuse: Talk to Us About Cybersecurity

Speaking last week at FINRA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Donald Good, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, discussed steps the FBI is taking to help members of the securities industry deal with cyber-threats, as well as steps the FBI hopes firms will take in response.  For example, as the Department of Justice recently suggested, Good urged members of...

Hackers Gonna Hack—FINRA’s Report on Cybersecurity Practices Assists Firms in Responding to Threats

On February 3, 2015 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its long-awaited Report on Cybersecurity Practices, a broad overview of the state of play in the cybersecurity arena for broker-dealers. (Although FINRA has examined only broker-dealers, its Report is helpful for the entire securities industry.) The Report is the culmination of FINRA’s 2014 targeted...

SEC and FINRA Exam Priorities

In their recent examination priorities letters, both the SEC and FINRA highlighted cybersecurity as an area of focus for 2015 exams. In the SEC letter, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) explained that it will continue its 2014 initiative to examine broker-dealers’ and investment advisers’ cybersecurity compliance and controls, and also plans to expand the...

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