Tag Archives: cyber

President Biden Signs Executive Order to Improve Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks

On May 12, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order which is aimed at improving the nation’s cybersecurity and protecting federal government networks.  The Executive Order has been in the works for some time, but the timing of its release is a response to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

According to the Fact Sheet issued by the White House, this Executive Order will:

  • Remove barriers to threat information sharing between government and the private sector
  • Modernize and implement stronger cybersecurity standards in the Federal Government
  • Improve software supply chain security
  • Establish a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board
  • Create a standard playbook for responding to cyber incidents
  • Improve detection of cybersecurity incidents on Federal Government networks
  • Improve investigative and remediation capabilities

The overall impact of the Executive Order is limited,… More

Is Paying Ransomware Grounds for OFAC Sanctions? OFAC Says “Maybe”….

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory to alert companies that might pay ransomware attackers of the potential sanctions risks for facilitating ransomware payments.  In particular, the alert targeted “financial institutions, cyber insurance firms, and companies involved in digital forensics and incident response….”  While this is an advisory and does not have the force of law,… More

US Security Officials Warning of Cyber Attacks in Wake of Iran Strike

On January 4, 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security posted at National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, in the wake of the killing of a senior Iranian military leader by a US drone.  That DHS advisory states:

The United States designated Iran a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” in 1984 and since then, Iran has actively engaged in or directed an array of violent and deadly acts against the United States and its citizens globally.… More

FERC and NERC Talk Grid Resilience and Cybersecurity

On March 22, 2019, Foley Hoag hosted the New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable, organized by Raab Associates. The roundtable featured keynote addresses by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur—who recently announced she will be stepping down later this year—and North American Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) CEO and President James Robb. Both took turns addressing the most pressing issues in energy. … More

Is Your Company’s Board of Directors Cyber Savvy?

Every company should expect that at some point it will experience a data breach. Whether as a result of hackers, disgruntled employees, or careless acts such as losing an unencrypted phone or laptop, data breaches may subject companies to liability and must be handled with speed and great care. What are the responsibilities of directors in preventing and addressing data breaches?

Without a doubt, directors must be generally aware of the data security risks facing the company and ensure that the company is prepared to manage those risks appropriately and has an incident response plan for a data breach.… More

Privacy and Data Security Strategies for Start-Up Companies

Start-up companies know that, when potential investors kick the tires, they will look carefully at the company’s business model and IP portfolio.  These days, investors are also likely to look at whether the company is in compliance with privacy and data security laws.  Cybersecurity has become increasingly important for business of all sizes.  While identity thieves may focus on the target rich environments of large-scale enterprises,… More

China Expands Its Cybersecurity Regulations

As noted recently in the Wall Street Journal, “New cybersecurity rules will give Chinese authorities sweeping powers to inspect companies’ information technology and access proprietary information—steps that are likely to deepen concerns among foreign businesses about their China operations.”  These regulations were issued pursuant to the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China, which came into force on June 1, 2017.… More

Blogging from BIO 2018: Does the Life Science Industry “Get” Cyber Security?

I am attending BIO 2018 in Boston, just steps from our Boston office. Naturally, I was drawn to yesterday’s session on “Life Sciences Cyber Exposures and Risk Mitigation Considerations.” But I came away disappointed. First of all, the session was held in a small room and even then, it was only one-third full (maybe 30 people of the 16,000 attending BIO 2018 chose to attend).… More