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Aguilar Speech Stresses Planning for Cyber-Attacks

Advising corporate boards to invest more time and resources for addressing cyber-attacks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Luis A. Aguilar was a guest speaker at the recent “Cyber Risks and the Boardroom Conference”. During his speech, the SEC Commissioner touched on cyber-risks, what boards of directors should do to protect their organizations, as well as having a thorough plan consistent with the companies’ best practices for their industry. In regards to the boards’ efforts, Aguilar said, “board oversight of management’s efforts to address these issues is critical to preventing and effectively responding to successful cyber-attacks and, ultimately, to protecting companies and their consumers, as well as protecting investors and the integrity of the capital markets.”

Aguilar also offered recommendations for handling cyber-attacks, such as increased disclosure practices. He noted, “I would encourage companies to go beyond the impact on the company and to also consider the impact on others. It is possible that a cyber-attack may not have a direct material adverse impact on the company itself, but that a loss of customers’ personal and financial data could have devastating effects on the lives of the company’s customers and many Americans. In such cases, the right thing to do is to give these victims a heads-up so that they can protect themselves.”

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