New York State is enforcing its 2017 Cybersecurity law for financial services companies. And it looks expensive.
Financial regulators in New York are set to levy the first fines under their 2017 DFS cybersecurity rules (aka Division of Financial Services -Rule 23 NYCRR 500).
First American Title Insurance Co. is the regulator's new poster child, after a breach became public last year. This comes right on the heels of a recent SEC alert on Ransomware.
First American, based in California (not New York) is a giant in real estate title insurance. Title insurance protects your real estate ownership. It's a critical piece of a robust real estate market.
The regulator said it considers each instance of exposed personal information a separate violation, attracting a penalty of $1,000 each.
Notice that New York doesn't care that First American is based in California. Under DFS cybersecurity rules, any financial services firm doing business in NY must comply.
Cybercriminals love targeting financial services firms. They get creative with it too, like when hackers posed as FINRA officials.
The NY State DFS alleged that First American exposed hundreds of millions of documents containing sensitive information.
Let's do some quick math:
A million files times a thousand dollars each is a billion dollars!
There were hundreds of millions of sensitive documents compromised. Each record carries a fine of $1,000. This quickly gets into the billions of dollars in fines - HUGE!
New York is not messing around. This is the first shot, and they just might make it an example for others.
Important Note: New York's DFS specifically mandates Security Awareness Training at financial services organizations!
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