Ken Herzinger Comments on the SEC’s Announcement That Cybersecurity Tops Its List of Enforcement Priorities

Global Investigations Review | June.15.2017

Ken Herzinger, Deputy Chair of Orrick’s White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation and Compliance Group recently spoke with Global Investigations Review on the announcement by the new leadership of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division that cybersecurity tops the list of their enforcement priorities.

According to Ken, who formerly served as an attorney in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, the Commission has ramped up its cybersecurity enforcement in recent years. “None of this cyber security [focus] really came about until around 2011 when cyber-attacks started hitting the press,” he said.

Ken also observed that while the SEC is trying to help companies handle cybercrime, it could have a “chilling effect” on the relationship between the Commission and the private sector. “Companies can be in a very untenable position, because they truly are the victims, and want to seek assistance from the criminal authorities,” he said. “At the same time, they’re aware that the SEC could be looking directly at them to bring charges.” Ken concluded, however, that the relationship between companies and criminal authorities will likely continue to be a cooperative one.