On March 9, 2022, President Biden signed a wide-ranging Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets (the “Order”).  While the Order does not mandate any particular regulatory prescriptions, it lays out key policy goals for a whole-of-government approach to digital asset regulation and directs the U.S. Government to assess the potential for a

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

Cybersecurity and data privacy continue to be among the most significant legal risks that businesses face today.

Last year brought a series of high-profile cyberattacks on major companies and U.S. infrastructure targets, continuing the trend seen in recent years. Regulators also brought a number of cybersecurity enforcement actions and announced new rules, guidance, and initiatives on ransomware and other cyber-related issues. In addition, after many years of debate, Congress made some progress in crafting legislation that would require certain companies to report significant cyberattacks and ransomware payments to the U.S. federal government. Companies should expect the demands of cybersecurity risk management and oversight to intensify as we enter 2022.
Continue Reading 2021 Cybersecurity and Privacy Developments in the United States

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

For those following data privacy and consumer data protection trends, it should come as no surprise that enacting comprehensive legislation to regulate companies’ use of personal data has continued to be a focal point both internationally and in the U.S., at the federal, state and local levels. 
Continue Reading Navigating the Complex Regulation of Privacy and Data Protection

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

We are delighted that Anthony M. Shults has rejoined Cleary Gottlieb as a senior attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where he served as acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel in the Office of Legal Policy and as Attorney-Advisor in the National Security Division. He is based in our New York office and will focus on cybersecurity, data privacy, and emerging technologies, as well as securities, appellate, and complex commercial litigation.
Continue Reading Cleary Gottlieb Welcomes Back Anthony M. Shults, Former Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel at the Department of Justice