SEC Tackles Internal Cybersecurity Issues While Sharpening Cybersecurity Enforcement Focus

The SEC recently disclosed in both a press release and Chair Jay Clayton’s Senate testimony that a 2016 hack of its test filing system may have provided a basis for illicit trading. Experts and SEC officials do not expect the breach to dampen the SEC’s focus on cybersecurity enforcement, however. See “SEC Review of Cybersecurity Finds Gains Since 2014, but Cites Gaps in Training and Compliance” (Aug. 24, 2017); and “OCIE 2017 Examination Priorities Illustrate Continued Focus on Conflicts of Interest; Branch Offices; Advisers Employing Bad Actors; Oversight of FINRA; Use of Data Analytics; and Cybersecurity” (Jan. 26, 2017). In fact, the SEC has announced the formation of its Cyber Unit to consolidate its efforts. This article analyzes Clayton’s testimony and earlier statement regarding the hack; explores the effect of the breach on SEC enforcement; and examines the SEC’s cybersecurity efforts and focus. For additional commentary from Clayton, see “Eight Guiding Principles for Enforcement and Agency Strategies for Their Implementation” (Aug. 10, 2017); and “Budget Testimony Emphasizes Strong Agency Focus on Oversight and Enforcement in Trump Era” (Jul. 13, 2017).

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