SEC Chairman Seeks More Cyber Risk Disclosure

Wall Street Regulator Eyes Cyber Shortfalls, Plus Initial Coin Offerings

The chief of Wall Street’s top regulator says publicly traded U.S. businesses must better describe to investors the cybersecurity risks their firms face.

“I am not comfortable that the American investing public understands the substantial risks that we face systemically from cyber issues,” Jay Clayton, head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said Tuesday, Reuters reports. “I’d like to see better disclosure around that.”

Clayton, who holds degrees in engineering, economics and law, and was previously a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, was nominated in January by President Donald Trump to chair the SEC – the main federal agency that regulates Wall Street. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May.

Speaking Tuesday on a panel discussion in Washington co-hosted by the SEC and New York University, Clayton said he will continue the SEC’s focus on cybersecurity as a top enforcement priority, Reuters reports (see SEC Reportedly Probing Yahoo’s Breach Notification Speed).

The SEC already requires companies to report cyber incidents that may have an impact on corporate finances. Last year, furthermore, the SEC signaled a more hands-on approach to reviewing privacy and data protection practices at all publicly traded companies (see SEC Prepares for More Cybersecurity Oversight).

Joining Clayton on the panel were Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin, co-directors of the SEC’s enforcement division.

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