Photo of Anthony M. Shults

Anthony M. Shults’s practice focuses on cybersecurity, data privacy, and emerging technologies, as well as securities, appellate, and other complex commercial litigation.

Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a proposal to enhance and standardize disclosure requirements related to cybersecurity incident reporting and cybersecurity risk management, strategy, and governance. Among other changes, the SEC’s proposal would require disclosure about material cybersecurity incidents within four business days and require annual disclosure regarding a registrant’s policies and

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022, which imposes federal reporting requirements for cyber incidents and ransomware attack payments.  The legislation will require covered critical infrastructure entities to report to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within 72 hours of forming a

In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the launch of its new Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, which aims to hold government contractors and grant recipients accountable for cyber-related fraud under the False Claims Act.

Two recent developments provide insight into how the Justice Department will pursue cases under this new initiative, and reveal the

On March 1, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent a package of three cybersecurity bills, known collectively as the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act, which would enhance reporting requirements for certain major cyber incidents and ransomware attacks.  Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman, who co-sponsored the Act, expressed the urgency of enhancing the nation’s cyber readiness “in the face of potential cyber-attacks sponsored by the Russian government in retaliation for U.S. support in Ukraine.”[i]
Continue Reading U.S. Senate Fast Tracks Major Cybersecurity Legislation in Response to Russia Threat

February 17, 2022 was a busy day for the Department of Justice and its growing cyber portfolio.  First, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco delivered remarks at the Annual Munich Cyber Security Conference, stressing the Department’s efforts to confront cyber criminals and its increasing focus on disruption and prevention, even if doing so would limit criminal prosecutions.  Additionally, the Department announced the appointment of the first Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which was established to address criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Continue Reading Developments at Justice: The Deputy Attorney General Talks Cybersecurity and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team Gets its First Director

On January 24, 2022, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler gave a speech at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Annual Securities Regulation Institute signaling the SEC’s intention to step up its cyber-related regulatory and enforcement efforts.  Gensler described the continued rise in cybersecurity incidents targeting the financial sector as a serious threat to the nation’s economy and critical infrastructure, with costs potentially in the trillions of dollars.
Continue Reading SEC Chair Previews Ramp Up in Regulation and Enforcement in the Cybersecurity Context

On January 19, 2022, District Judge Jesse M. Furman of the Southern District of New York dismissed a putative class action filed against men’s clothing store Bonobos, Inc., following an August 2020 data breach.  Judge Furman determined that a Bonobos customer whose personal information was stolen in the breach failed to demonstrate a sufficiently substantial risk of harm to establish standing to sue.

The decision in Cooper v. Bonobos reflects the increased uncertainty regarding the viability of suits for damages based solely on future risk of identity theft or fraud, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez.
Continue Reading Data Breach Class Action Against Bonobos Dismissed For Lack of Standing

A 2021 survey of chief legal officers demonstrated that cybersecurity has overtaken compliance as the most significant legal risk that businesses face today. This should not come as a surprise as 2021 brought a series of high-profile cyberattacks on major companies and U.S. infrastructure targets.
Continue Reading Cybersecurity: Data Breaches, Ransomware Attacks and Increased Regulatory Focus

On January 4, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a clear warning to companies to remediate any software vulnerabilities associated with the Java-based Log4j software.  A critical security flaw was identified in Log4j, which is embedded in major software applications and is widely used by businesses in all sectors of the economy, this past December.  The security flaw potentially allows bad actors to gain unfettered access to affected computer systems and to any sensitive information they contain.

The FTC, which increasingly prioritizes privacy and data security enforcement, stressed that companies have a legal duty to mitigate known software vulnerabilities—including Log4j—that risk harm to consumers and may face legal action from the FTC if they fail to do so.

Continue Reading The Federal Trade Commission Warns Companies to Remediate the “Log4j” Software Security Vulnerability

On December 6, 2021, the National Risk Committee of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2021, which reports on key issues affecting the federal banking system.[1]  The report highlights the “evolving and increasingly complex” danger to the financial system from cyber threats, and encourages banks and financial institutions to adopt robust cyber controls to minimize operational risk.  It also stresses the need for risk-management policies and procedures that are tailored to new technological innovations, including cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
Continue Reading The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Warns of Increasingly Complex Cyber Risks for Banks