NYDFS Commences First Cybersecurity Enforcement Action

First one! On July 22, 2020 NYDFS charged title insurer with violations of the DFS Cybersecurity Regulation. Administrative proceeding to commence in October. Personal hot takes from the DFS allegations (and they are only allegations):
(1) More than 850 million documents were accessible to anyone with a URL address providing access to a single document in the company’s web application that delivered documents to outside parties. Tens of millions of documents contained sensitive personal information such as SSNs and bank account information.
(2) After first identifying the vulnerability in Dec. 2018, the company allegedly ignored an internal recommendation for additional investigation.
(3) DFS also alleges the company failed to remediate the vulnerability for nearly six months due to a “cascade of errors” caused by “flaws in [the company’s] vulnerability remediation program.”
(4) Charged violations allege an inadequate risk assessment; lack of reasonable access controls; inadequate training; and lack of adequate encryption. Penalties are $1,000 per violation if proven.

(5) While the number of violations are not alleged in the charging document, the NYDFS press release states that ” DFS alleges that each instance of Nonpublic Information encompassed within the charges constitutes a separate violation carrying up to $1,000 in penalties per violation.”

The press release and Statement of Charges may be found here:  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/reports_and_publications/press_releases/pr202007221

My article in the New York Law Journal anticipating this action can be found at:   https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/06/anticipating-the-first-cybersecurity-enforcement-action-by-nydfs/