The impact of these two recent data breaches will be unprecedented. Equifax, a company that charges its customers for protection and fortification from hackers, apparently cannot even protect itself from that very threat. Meanwhile, tasked with the enforcement of cybersecurity standards for financial firms such as brokerage firms and investment advisers, the SEC may have failed to meet data security guidelines and advisories that they themselves have promulgated. Moreover, as the guardian of U.S. capital markets and sworn protector of investors, the SEC may now unwittingly become a securities fraud kingpin, inadvertently sourcing ironclad tips of nonpublic information to an online stock trading ring.
No doubt that the irony of the Equifax and SEC cyber-attacks is glaring, proving once again that truth can be stranger than fiction. But lost amid the predictable condemnation, outrage and mockery are a few important takeaways worthy of attention.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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