DFS Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris Announces Updated Cybersecurity Regulation

Amends First-In-The-Nation Cybersecurity Regulation Created in 2017 in Response to Increasingly Sophisticated Technologies and Threats

The Department Seeks Comments on the Proposed Regulation During the Next 60 Days

Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris announced today that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposed an updated cybersecurity regulation. DFS’s original regulation, which DFS promulgated in 2017, established a regulatory model that is now used by both federal and state financial regulators. DFS has taken a data-driven approach to amending the regulation to ensure that regulated entities address new and increasing cybersecurity threats with the most effective controls and best practices to protect consumers and businesses.

With cyber-attacks on the rise, it is critical that our regulation keeps pace with new threats and technology purpose-built to steal data or inflict harm,” said Superintendent Harris. “Cyber criminals go after all types of companies, big and small, across industries, which is why all of our regulated entities must comply with these standards – whether a bank, virtual currency company, or a health insurance company.”

The proposed amended regulation strengthens the DFS risk-based approach to ensure cybersecurity risk is integrated into business planning, decision-making, and ongoing risk management. The changes include:

  • The creation of three tiers of companies, further tailoring the regulation to a diverse set of businesses with different defensive needs. Furthermore, based on feedback from the industry and in recognition of the realities of operating a small business, the proposed amendment increases the size threshold of smaller companies that are exempt from many parts of the regulation
  • Enhanced governance requirements, thereby increasing accountability for cybersecurity at the Board and C-Suite levels;
  • Additional controls to prevent initial unauthorized access to technology systems and to prevent or mitigate the spread of an attack;
  • Requiring more regular risk and vulnerability assessments, as well as more robust incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery planning; and
  • Directing companies to invest in regular training and cybersecurity awareness programs that are relevant to their business model and personnel.

Over the course of the past few months, DFS has solicited feedback on proposed amendments from other regulators, industry groups, and regulated entities through the recent Cybersecurity Symposium, industry conferences, and meetings.

The proposed amended regulation is subject to a 60-day comment period beginning today upon publication in the State Register. DFS looks forward to and appreciates receiving feedback on the proposed amended regulation during the comment period. As the comment period ends, DFS will then review all received comments and either repropose a revised version or adopt the final regulation.

A copy of the proposed amended regulation is available on the DFS website.

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