SEC Officials Emphasize Close Monitoring of Cybersecurity Disclosures Following Release of Interpretive Guidance
March 21, 2018
Following on the heels of the SEC’s updated interpretive guidance on cybersecurity disclosure, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson each recently made public statements underscoring the agency’s increasing focus on cybersecurity.
On March 12, 2018, Chairman Clayton stated that the SEC will closely monitor how corporations respond to the new interpretive guidance at a conference held by the Council of Institutional Investors. During an interview conducted by former Chairwoman Elisse Walter, Chairman Clayton said implementation of the interpretive guidance “will be a focal point for staff review” and that companies should work to determine their disclosure obligations under the current rules. Reiterating the interpretive guidance’s statement that the SEC expects companies to make disclosures “tailored” to their particular cybersecurity risks and incidents, Chairman Clayton stated that companies must put significant effort into determining their individual disclosure obligations under the current rules, meaning that “[r]eally good lawyering and governance is necessary.” Chairman Clayton also alluded to calls by certain SEC Commissioners for rulemaking requiring the disclosure of cybersecurity incidents in 8-K filings: “In terms of writing a rule, if you wanted to make it a specific 8-K requirement, the issue there is whether something is material,” said Chairman Clayton, adding “[i]t’s really a facts and circumstances situation, and it can vary from industry to industry and company to company.”
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