New SEC rule would force big firms to report cyberattacks within four days

An abstract image of digital security.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed rules which, if passed, would force public companies to report on cyberattacks within 96 hours of their discovery, as well as issue periodic reports on how they manage cybersecurity risks. 

The SEC is suggesting a change to the requirements for the Form 8-K to include reporting on malware and other cybersecurity incidents "within four business days after the registrant determines that it has experienced a material cybersecurity incident." 

The 8-K form is usually used by public companies to announce major changes or events that would impact shareholders. 

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Cybersecurity is an emerging risk

Furthermore, the SEC suggests changes to the quarterly 10-Q report, and the annual 10-K report, in which companies would report on previously undisclosed incidents that “become material in the aggregate”. In other words, they don’t need to report minor incidents within four days, but ten minor incidents, that mount up to a bigger one, need to be reported every once in a while. 

The forms would also be used to report on policies and procedures the companies are using, as they manage cyber-risk. 

"Today, cybersecurity is an emerging risk with which public issuers increasingly must contend," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. "Investors want to know more about how issuers are managing those growing risks. A lot of issuers already provide cybersecurity disclosure to investors. I think companies and investors alike would benefit if this information were required in a consistent, comparable, and decision-useful manner."

Lately, US regulators have been pushing for tiger legislation with regards to cybersecurity. 

A week ago, the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act was introduced by Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters, ranking member and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

Under the act, which is currently heading to the House for a vote, American critical infrastructure organizations will be forced to report cybersecurity incidents on their endpoints within 72 hours, and any ransomware payments within 24 hours.

Via: The Register

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.