Posts in Cyber Security.
Blogs
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As the implementation and integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools (AI) continue to affect nearly every industry, concerns over AI’s potentially discriminatory effects in the use of these tools continue to grow. The need for ethical, trustworthy, explainable, and transparent AI systems is gaining momentum and recognition among state and local regulatory agencies—and the insurance industry has not escaped their notice.

On January 17, 2024, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”) took a further step towards imposing ...

Blogs
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As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we’re breaking down the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) Board’s new regulations impacting employers:

Last month, the CPPA Board met to discuss several new regulations that could impact employers in California and beyond. Among them were draft regulations for automated decision-making technology, an initiative that’s part of a larger trend across the country to regulate the use of technology in the workplace. Additionally, new cybersecurity audit regulations were discussed. Epstein Becker Green attorneys Nathaniel Glasser and Brian G. Cesaratto explain these new draft regulations and the potential impacts on employers.

Blogs
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On December 8, 2023, the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CPPA”) Board (the “Board”) held a public meeting to discuss, among other things, regulations addressing: (1) cybersecurity audits; (2) risk assessments; and (3) automated decisionmaking technology (“ADMT”).  After years in the making, the December 8 Board meeting was another step towards the final rulemaking process for these regulations.  The Board’s discussion of the draft regulations revealed their broad implications for businesses covered by the California Consumer Privacy Act ...

Blogs
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The five-member Board of the California Privacy Protection Agency (the “CPPA”) held a public meeting on September 8, 2023, to discuss a range of topics, most notably, draft regulations relating to risk assessments and cybersecurity audits. Once the regulations are finalized and approved after a formal rulemaking process, they will impose additional obligations on many businesses covered by the California Consumer Privacy Act, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (“CCPA”). The Board’s discussion of these draft regulations is instructive for ...

Blogs
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California businesses, including employers, that have not already complied with their statutory data privacy obligations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), including as to employee and job applicant personal information, should be taking all necessary steps to do so. See No More Exceptions: What to Do When the California Privacy Exemptions for Employee, Applicant and B2B Data Expire on January 1, 2023. As background, a covered business is one that “does business” in California, and either has annual gross revenues of $25 million, annually buys sells or shares personal information of 100,00 consumers or households, or derives 50 percent or more of its annual revenues from selling or sharing consumers’ personal information. It also applies, in certain circumstances, to entities that control or are controlled by a covered business or joint ventures. Covered businesses may be exempt from obligations under certain enumerated entity-level or information-level carve-outs.

Blogs
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On July 13, 2023, the White House issued the first iteration of its National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan (the “Implementation Plan”), which will be updated annually. The two overarching goals of the Implementation Plan are to address the need for more capable actors in cyberspace to bear more of the responsibility for cybersecurity and to increase incentives to make investments in long-term resilience. The Implementation Plan is structured around the five pillars laid out in the White House’s National Cybersecurity Strategy earlier this year, namely: (1) defend critical infrastructure; (2) disrupt and dismantle threat actors; (3) shape market forces to drive security and resilience; (4) invest in a resilient future; and (5) forge international partnerships to pursue shared goals. The Implementation Plan identifies strategic objectives and high-impact cybersecurity initiatives under each pillar and designates the federal agency responsible for leading the initiative to meet each objective. The following summarizes some of the key initiatives included in the Implementation Plan that will directly impact critical infrastructure organizations, including healthcare, energy, manufacturing, information technology and financial services.

Blogs
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On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”), and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a “Joint Statement on Enforcement Efforts Against Discrimination and Bias in Automated System” (“Joint Statement”).  According to a press release from the EEOC, by the Joint Statement, the federal agencies pledged to uphold America’s commitment to the core principles of fairness, equality, and justice as emerging automated systems, including those sometimes marketed as “artificial intelligence,” or “AI,” become increasingly common in people’s daily lives – impacting civil rights, fair competition, consumer protection, and equal opportunity.

Blogs
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The California Privacy Protection Agency Board (the “Board”) held a public meeting on February 3, 2023, adopting and approving the current set of draft rules (the “Draft Rules”), which implement and clarify the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”). The Draft Rules cover many CCPA requirements, including restrictions on the collection and use of personal information, transparency obligations, consumer rights and responding to consumer requests, and service provider contract requirements. At the meeting, the Board also addressed additional proposed rulemaking processes concerning cybersecurity audits, risk assessments, and automated decision-making. 

Blogs
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On February 1, 2023, the FTC announced a proposed $1.5 million settlement with GoodRx Holdings, based on alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”) and Health Breach Notification Rule (“HBNR”) for using advertising technologies on its websites and mobile app that resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of consumers’ personal and health information to advertisers and other third parties. On the same day, the U.S. Department of Justice, acting on behalf of the FTC, filed a Complaint and Proposed Stipulated Order detailing the FTC’s allegations and the terms of the proposed settlement. 

Blogs
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California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) give consumers substantial rights regarding the disclosure and use of their personal information collected by businesses subject to the law. Significantly, CCPA/CPRA define the term “consumer” to mean any California resident. This broad definition extends not only a business’s individual customers, but also its employees, job-applicants and even its business-to-business (B2B) contacts. We have previously discussed the compliance requirements of these data privacy laws on organizations doing business in California, and the moratoriums for B2B and employee/applicant data that that the Legislature had put in place exempting covered businesses from complying with certain requirements of the laws.[1] Unless extended by the Legislature (which appears unlikely) or preempted by federal privacy legislation (which appears even more unlikely), the moratoriums will sunset on January 1, 2023. Accordingly, covered businesses should begin  preparing now to meet their upcoming expanded statutory obligations to protect consumers data privacy.

Blogs
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As reported in a June 3, 2022 press release from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Senator Roger Wicker released a “discussion draft” of a federal data privacy bill entitled the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act” (the “Draft Bill”), which would impact the data privacy and cybersecurity practices of virtually every business and not-for-profit organization in the United States.

As further described below, the Draft Bill’s highlights include: (i) a comprehensive nationwide data privacy framework; (ii) preemption of state data privacy laws, with some exceptions; (iii) a private right of action after four (4) years, subject to the individual’s prior notice to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and applicable state attorney general before commencement of lawsuit; (iv) exemptions for covered entities that are in compliance with other federal privacy regimes such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (“GLBA”) solely with respect to data covered by those statutes; (v) exclusions from Act’s requirements for certain “employee data”; and (vi) a requirement for implementation of reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect covered data. The Draft Bill would be enforced by the FTC, and violations treated as unfair or deceptive trade practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act, as well as by state attorneys general.

Blogs
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On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed into law the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act containing the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (the “Cyber Incident Reporting Act”). While President Biden’s remarks highlighted the $13.6 billion in funding “to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact on surrounding countries,” the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act contained numerous other laws, including the Cyber Incident Reporting Act, which should not be overlooked. The Cyber Incident Reporting Act puts in motion important new cybersecurity reporting requirements that will likely apply to businesses in almost every major sector of the economy, including health care, financial services, energy, transportation and commercial facilities. Critical infrastructure entities should monitor the upcoming rule-making by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), as the final regulations will clarify the scope and application of the new law.

Blogs
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Next month, New Jersey private employers will need to start informing drivers before using GPS tracking devices in the vehicles they operate. A new state law that becomes effective April 18, 2022, requires employers to provide written notice to employees before using “electronic or mechanical devices” that are “designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device.” The notification requirement applies to both employer-owned or -leased and personal vehicles.

Blogs
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As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at H.R. 4445, new federal legislation that addresses mandatory arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims.

Blogs
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The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) has urged a “Shields Up” defense in depth approach, as Russian use of wiper malware in the Ukrainian war escalates. The Russian malware “HermeticWiper” and “Whispergate” are destructive attacks that corrupt the infected computers’ master boot record rendering the device inoperable. The wipers effectuate a denial of service attack designed to render the device’s data permanently unavailable or destroyed. Although the malware to date appears to be manually targeted at selected Ukrainian systems, the risks now escalate of a spillover effect to Europe and the United States particularly as to: (i) targeted cyber attacks including on critical infrastructure and financial organizations; and (ii) use of a rapidly spreading indiscriminate wiper like the devastating “NotPetya” that quickly moves across trusted networks. Indeed, Talos researchers have found functional similarities between the current malware and “NotPetya” which was attributed to the Russian military to target Ukranian organizations in 2017, but then quickly spread around the world reportedly resulting in over $10 billion dollars in damage.[1] The researchers added that the current wiper has included even further components designed to inflict damage.

Blogs
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As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we focus on new developments increasing whistleblower protections across the country and prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims.

Blogs
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The  New York State Acting Commissioner of Health has extended the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the NY HERO Act until February 15, 2022. Accordingly, the airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans required under Section 1 of the Act must be kept in place through that date, at which point the Commissioner will review whether the designation should be continued.

Blogs
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NYC employers will soon be required to include a minimum and maximum salary on all job postings for positions performed within the City. As we previously reported, the City Council passed Int. 1208-B (Law) on December 15, 2021, and due to new NYC mayor Eric Adam’s inaction within the 30-day veto period, it became a law as of January 15, 2022. Beginning May 15, 2022, the Law requires employers with four or more employees to include a “good faith” minimum and maximum salary range on for all advertised NYC job, promotion and transfer opportunities. Additionally, the Law makes the failure to include salary range an unlawful discriminatory practice under the City’s Human Rights Law.

Blogs
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Recent data thefts and systems intrusions, particularly with respect to ransomware, have assured that cybersecurity is top of mind for corporate executives and compliance officials. We at EBG have tried to keep you up to date with respect to legislative, regulatory and litigation developments and recommended best practices and procedures.

As we close out the year, we all should remain mindful that cyber criminals, especially those who are supported or protected by foreign adversaries, have little incentive to rest up during the holidays.

Blogs
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The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) jointly published a new resource as part of their ongoing efforts to promote awareness of, and help organizations defend against, supply chain risks. The publication, Defending Against Software Supply Chain Attacks, provides recommendations for software customers and vendors as well as key steps for prevention, mitigation and resilience of software supply chain attacks.

Software supply chain attacks occur when a cyber threat actor infiltrates a software ...

Blogs
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A recently discovered security vulnerability potentially affecting at least 100 million Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices[1] highlights the importance of the newly enacted IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (the “IoT Act”). Researchers at the security firms Forescout Research Labs and JSOF Research Labs have jointly published a report detailing a security vulnerability known as “NAME:WRECK.” This is exactly the type of issue that the new IoT Act was and is designed to address at the governmental level, because the vulnerability can detrimentally affect ...

Blogs
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As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  Here's a rundown of some of the top developments in employment law and workforce management this week:

Guidance for Mitigating Retirement Plan Cybersecurity Risk

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued its first cybersecurity best practices guidance for retirement plans. To assist plan sponsors and fiduciaries with their responsibilities to prudently select and monitor service providers, the guidance outlines considerations they can use to determine that service providers ...

Blogs
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Enacted on December 4, 2020, the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (the “IoT Act”) is expected to dramatically improve the cybersecurity of the ubiquitous IoT devices.[1] With IoT devices on track to exceed 21.5 billion by 2025, the IoT Act mandates cybersecurity standards and guidelines for the acquisition and use by the federal government of IoT devices capable of connecting to the Internet. The IoT Act, and the accompanying standards and guidance being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will directly affect ...

Blogs
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In our previous blog, we featured the California Privacy Rights Act’s Enhanced Cybersecurity Safeguards.[1] We now highlight significant privacy safeguards under the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) that will require advance planning in preparation for its January 1, 2023 effective date.[2] These new requirements will impact the collection and use of personal information across each organization. In particular, businesses, at a minimum, will need to assess and plan for:

  • the effective implementation of data minimization policies, practices, and ...
Blogs
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On January 20, 2021, Mayor Jim Kenney signed legislation amending the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits covered employers from procuring, considering, or otherwise using a job applicant’s or employee’s credit-related information in connection with hiring, discharge, tenure, promotion, discipline, or consideration of any other term, condition, or privilege of employment with respect to such employee or applicant.

The amendment, which takes effect on February 20, 2021, expands the scope of covered employers to include financial institutions and ...

Blogs
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The California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) leaps forward on cybersecurity by amending the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) to impose enhanced protections. The CPRA enhancements apply to “for profit” companies and other organizations: (a) with more than $25 million in gross revenues in the preceding calendar year, or (b) that annually buy, sell or share the personal information of 100,000 or more consumers or households, or (c) that derive at least 50 percent of their annual revenue from selling or sharing consumer personal information ...

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