Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, 13158-13177 [2019-04981]

Download as PDF 13158 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules (i) Changes preceded by a revised privacy notice. If you no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section because you change your policies or practices in such a way that § 313.8 requires you to provide a revised privacy notice, you must provide an annual privacy notice in accordance with the timing requirement in paragraph (a) of this section, treating the revised privacy notice as an initial privacy notice. (ii) Changes not preceded by a revised privacy notice. If you no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section because you change your policies or practices in such a way that § 313.8 does not require you to provide a revised privacy notice, you must provide an annual privacy notice within 100 days of the change in your policies or practices that causes you to no longer meet the requirement of paragraph (e)(1). (iii) Examples. (A) You change your policies and practices in such a way that you no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section effective April 1 of year 1. Assuming you define the 12-consecutive-month period pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section as a calendar year, if you were required to provide a revised privacy notice under § 313.8 and you provided that notice on March 1 of year 1, you must provide an annual privacy notice by December 31 of year 2. If you were not required to provide a revised privacy notice under § 313.8, you must provide an annual privacy notice by July 9 of year 1. (B) You change your policies and practices in such a way that you no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section, and so provide an annual notice to your customers. After providing the annual notice to your customers, you once again meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section for an exception to the annual notice requirement. You do not need to provide additional annual notice to your customers until such time as you no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section. ■ 6. In § 313.15, revise paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows: jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS § 313.15 Other exceptions to notice and opt out requirements. (a) * * * (4) To the extent specifically permitted or required under other provisions of law and in accordance with the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.), to law enforcement agencies (including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 a federal functional regulator, the Secretary of the Treasury, with respect to 31 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter II (Records and Reports on Monetary Instruments and Transactions) and 12 U.S.C. chapter 21 (Financial Recordkeeping), a State insurance authority, with respect to any person domiciled in that insurance authority’s State that is engaged in providing insurance, and the Federal Trade Commission), self-regulatory organizations, or for an investigation on a matter related to public safety. * * * * * By direction of the Commission. April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–06039 Filed 4–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 314 RIN 3084–AB35 Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information Federal Trade Commission. Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for public comment. AGENCY: ACTION: The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) requests public comment on its proposal to amend the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (‘‘Safeguards Rule’’ or ‘‘Rule’’). The proposal contains five main modifications to the existing Rule. First, it adds provisions designed to provide covered financial institutions with more guidance on how to develop and implement specific aspects of an overall information security program. Second, it adds provisions designed to improve the accountability of financial institutions’ information security programs. Third, it exempts small businesses from certain requirements. Fourth, it expands the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to include entities engaged in activities that the Federal Reserve Board determines to be incidental to financial activities. Finally, the Commission proposes to include the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and related examples in the Rule itself rather than cross-reference them from a related FTC rule, the Privacy of Consumer Financial Information Rule. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 3, 2019. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the Request for Comment part SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR part 314, Project No. P145407,’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Lincicum or Allison M. Lefrak, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326–2773 or (202) 326–2804. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The Gramm Leach Bliley Act (‘‘GLB’’ or ‘‘GLBA’’) was enacted in 1999.1 The GLBA provides a framework for regulating the privacy and data security practices of a broad range of financial institutions. Among other things, the GLBA requires financial institutions to provide customers with information about the institutions’ privacy practices and about their opt-out rights, and to implement security safeguards for customer information. Subtitle A of Title V of the GLBA required the Commission and other federal agencies to establish standards for financial institutions relating to administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for certain information.2 Pursuant to the Act’s directive, the Commission promulgated the Safeguards Rule in 2002. The Safeguards Rule became effective on May 23, 2003. The Safeguards Rule requires a financial institution to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program that consists of the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards the financial institution uses to access, collect, distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle customer information.3 The information security program must be written in one or more 1 Public Law 106–102, 113 Stat. 1338 (1999). 15 U.S.C. 6801(b), 6805(b)(2). 3 16 CFR 314.2(c). 2 See E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS readily accessible parts.4 The safeguards set forth in the program must be appropriate to the size and complexity of the financial institution, the nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of any customer information at issue.5 The safeguards must also be reasonably designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of the information, and protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer.6 In order to develop, implement, and maintain its information security program, a financial institution must identify reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction, or other compromise of such information, including in the areas of: 1. Employee training and management; 2. information systems, including network and software design, as well as information processing, storage, transmission, and disposal; and 3. detecting, preventing, and responding to attacks, intrusions, or other systems failures.7 The financial institution must then design and implement safeguards to control the risks identified through the risk assessment, and must regularly test or otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the safeguards’ key controls, systems, and procedures.8 The financial institution is also required to evaluate and adjust its information security program in light of the results of this testing and monitoring, as well as any material changes in its operations or business arrangements, or any other circumstances that it knows or has reason to know may have a material impact on its information security program.9 The financial institution must also designate an employee or employees to coordinate the information security program.10 Finally, the Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions to take reasonable steps to select and retain service providers that are capable of maintaining appropriate safeguards for customer information and require those service providers by contract to 4 16 CFR 314.3(a). CFR 314.3(a), (b). 6 16 CFR 314.3(a), (b). 7 16 CFR 314.4(b). 8 16 CFR 314.4(c). 9 16 CFR 314.4(e). 10 16 CFR 314.4(a). 5 16 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 implement and maintain such safeguards.11 When the Commission issued the Rule in 2002, it opted to provide general requirements and guidance for the required information security program, without providing detailed descriptions of what the information security program should contain.12 It took this approach in order to provide financial institutions with the flexibility to shape the information security programs to their particular business and to allow the programs to adapt to changes in technology and threats to the security and integrity of customer information.13 While the Commission believes the proposed amendments continue to provide companies with flexibility, they also attempt to provide more detailed guidance as to what an appropriate information security program entails. II. Regulatory Review of the Safeguards Rule On August 29, 2016, the Commission solicited comments on the Safeguards Rule as part of its periodic review of its rules and guides.14 The Commission sought comment on a number of general issues, including the economic impact and benefits of the Rule; possible conflicts between the Rule and state, local, or other federal laws or regulations; and the effect on the Rule of any technological, economic, or other industry changes. The Commission received 28 comments from individuals and entities representing a wide range of viewpoints.15 Most commenters agreed that there is a continuing need for the Rule and that it benefits consumers and competition.16 The Commission also generally asked commenters to weigh in on: 1. Whether the Commission should add more specific requirements for information security programs to the Rule; 2. whether the Rule should require the inclusion of an incident response plan; 3. whether the Rule should CFR 314.4(d). Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, Final Rule, 67 FR 36484 (May 23, 2002). 13 Id. 14 Safeguards Rule, Request for Comment, 81 FR 61632 (Sept. 7, 2016). 15 The comments are posted at: https:// www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-674. The Commission has assigned each comment a number appearing after the name of the commenter and the date of submission. This notice cites comments using the last name of the individual submitter or the name of the organization, followed by the number assigned by the Commission. 16 See, e.g., Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39); National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40); Data & Marketing Association (Comment #38); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26). 13159 reference or incorporate any other information security standards or framework, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard; 4. whether the Rule should contain its own definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ rather than cross-reference the definition set forth in the Privacy Rule; and 5. whether the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ should be expanded. 1. Whether the Safeguards Rule Should Include More Specific Requirements for Information Security Programs Several commenters urged the Commission not to add more specific and prescriptive requirements for information security programs.17 These commenters stated that financial institutions are familiar with the Rule in its current form and have established practices and policies in reliance on it; 18 that preserving the Rule’s flexible guidelines for information security plans enables financial institutions to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape; 19 and that additional prescriptive requirements for information security plans would negatively impact innovation.20 Some commenters asserted that a more prescriptive regulatory approach for information security programs in the Rule would not necessarily make institutions more secure and cautioned that regulation that adopts a checklist approach to information security plans risks creating complacency among companies.21 A few commenters proposed that rather than amending the Rule to add more specific and prescriptive requirements for information security plans, the Commission should promote selfregulation as an appropriate tool to 11 16 12 See PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17 See, e.g., American Financial Services Association (Comment #42); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17); Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39). 18 National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40). 19 See, e.g., American Financial Services Association (Comment #42); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17); Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39). 20 See, e.g., Data & Marketing Association (Comment #38); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24). 21 See e.g., Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24). E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13160 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS effectively promote information security.22 On the other hand, some commenters recommended that the FTC strengthen the Rule by including more detailed security requirements.23 The Clearing House Association LLC (‘‘The Clearing House’’), a banking association and payments company that is owned by the largest commercial banks, argued that the Rule’s requirements, at least with respect to large financial technology (‘‘Fintech’’) companies, should be more akin to the rules applicable to banks under the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (‘‘FFIEC’’) Interagency Guidelines. Among other things, these guidelines specify elements that financial institutions should include in a risk assessment; areas a financial institution must consider—such as access controls, encryption, and incident response—in developing security controls; and provisions that financial institutions must include in contracts with service providers. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (‘‘EPIC’’) recommended that certain practices set forth in the FTC’s Safeguards Rule Guidance, such as employee background checks, authentication requirements, and encryption, should be mandatory.24 Having considered these comments, the Commission proposes to amend the Rule to include more specific security requirements. While the Commission agrees with those commenters that argued that the flexibility of the current Safeguards Rule is a strength that allows the Rule to adapt to changing technology and threats, the Commission believes that more specific requirements will benefit financial institutions by providing them more guidance and certainty in developing their information security programs, while largely preserving that flexibility. The Commission agrees that a checklist approach is not appropriate, which is why the proposed amendments retain 22 Data & Marketing Association (Comment #38); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26). 23 The Clearing House Association LLC (Comment #35); Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30). 24 Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30), citing Financial Institutions and Customer Information: Complying with the Safeguards Rule, FED. TRADE COMM’N (Apr. 2006), https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/businesscenter/guidance/financial-institutions-customerinformation-complying [hereinafter ‘‘Safeguards Rule Guidance’’]. EPIC also urged the Commission to apply the Rule to all types of businesses, not just financial institutions, but the GLBA provides statutory authority only for requirements applicable to financial institutions. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 the existing Rule’s process-based approach, allowing companies to tailor their programs to their size and to the sensitivity and amount of customer information they collect. As to the commenters that stated that the current Rule works well and that companies have already developed compliance programs under it, the Commission does not believe the proposed new requirements would require an overhaul of existing compliance programs. Because the new requirements build on existing requirements, they will help companies benchmark and improve their current compliance programs, rather than having to start from scratch. Finally, the Commission recognizes that some of the financial institutions to which the Safeguards Rule applies— such as tax preparers or mortgage brokers—may be very small businesses with few customers. Accordingly, the proposed amendment would exempt smaller financial institutions from certain requirements of the amended Rule. The Commission also agrees that very specific requirements for information security programs could become outdated and require frequent amendments. Accordingly, the proposed amendments provide more detailed requirements as to the issues and threats that must be addressed by the information security program, but do not require specific solutions to those problems. Instead, the proposed amendments retain the process-based approach of the Rule, while providing a more detailed map of what information security plans must address. As discussed in detail below, information security programs under the proposed amendments would still be based on risk assessments performed by the covered financial institutions and would be developed to address the specific risks and needs of the financial institution. The Commission continues to believe that a flexible, nonprescriptive Rule enables covered organizations to use it to respond to the changing landscape of security threats, to allow for innovation in security practices, and to accommodate technological changes and advances. The proposed amendments are designed to preserve that flexibility while doing more to ensure that financial institutions develop information security plans that are appropriate, reasonable, and designed to protect customer information.25 Although the 25 The Commission agrees with the Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24) about the importance of self-regulation in this area and PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently flexible, it seeks comment on whether the approach creates unintended consequences for businesses, may be more stringent than necessary to achieve the objective, and/ or unnecessarily modifies language without creating a material benefit to security. 2. Whether the Rule Should Require the Inclusion of an Incident Response Plan The Commission sought comment on whether the Rule should require an incident response plan. Several commenters were opposed to adding such a requirement. Some of these commenters noted that states already require companies to notify consumers of a breach and that companies effectively must have some sort of incident response plan in place to meet this requirement, so there would be no need to add this requirement to the Rule.26 Some commenters argued that such a requirement would be burdensome for many businesses.27 Others stated that there is no need to add such a requirement because, for many financial institutions, in order to satisfy the Rule’s current requirement to have a reasonable information security program, a financial institution would necessarily be required to have an incident response plan.28 On the other hand, The Clearing House noted that an incident response program is ‘‘a crucial element of data security hygiene in the increasingly dangerous threat environment’’ and urged that the Commission impose this requirement on FTC-regulated financial institutions, especially since this is already a requirement for banks under the FFIEC Interagency Guidelines.29 The Commission agrees that the current Rule already requires many financial institutions to develop an incident response plan as part of their information security program. However, the Commission believes there is value to making such a requirement explicit. Accordingly, the Commission proposes an amendment to the Rule to require covered financial institutions to develop an incident response plan as part of their information security program, as described in greater detail below. The continues to work with industry groups to promote industry-specific guidance and training on security. 26 See, e.g., Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25); National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40). 27 See, e.g., National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25); 28 See, e.g., Consumer Data Industry Association (Comment #36); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17); MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14). 29 The Clearing House (Comment #35). E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Commission does not agree that a process-based requirement that financial institutions plan for an incident encourages a ‘‘check the box’’ approach. Nor does the Commission agree that such an obligation is generally burdensome, particularly for businesses operating nationwide, given that many institutions already must develop a response plan to comply with state law.30 The proposed amendment lists several general areas that the plan would need to address, as discussed in greater detail below. The Commission seeks comment about the potential costs and benefits of this proposal. In particular, the Commission is interested in any data, research or case studies that the Commission could use to analyze what commenters advocate. The proposed amendment is designed to ensure that covered financial institutions are prepared in the event of a cybersecurity event, while still giving them ample flexibility to adapt the plan to the needs and resources of their business. 3. Whether the Safeguards Rule should reference or incorporate any other information security standards or framework, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard The Commission sought comment on whether the Rule should reference or incorporate any other information security standards or frameworks, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (‘‘NIST’’) Cybersecurity Framework (the ‘‘Framework’’) or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (‘‘PCIDSS’’). The majority of commenters advocated against referring to or incorporating any other information security standard or framework, such as the NIST Framework or PCIDSS, into the Rule.31 Some commenters argued that the FTC should not adopt the NIST Framework as a binding set of obligations because it would lead to a ‘‘check the box’’ security mandate, and would add a layer of complexity to an already complex regulatory environment where institutions have to comply with numerous preexisting federal and state requirements.32 The 30 See e.g., n.26. 31 See, e.g., U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (Comment #22); Retail Industry Leaders Association (Comment #18); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17). 32 EDUCAUSE (Comment #17). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 Electronic Transactions Association (‘‘ETA’’) argued that the Framework is ‘‘not designed to replace an organization’s cybersecurity risk management’’ and that it is not intended to be a standard or checklist.33 A few commenters wrote in support of incorporating a reference to the NIST Framework in the Rule, while not requiring compliance with the Framework.34 For example, the Financial Services Roundtable/BITS (‘‘FSR/BITS’’) argued that incorporating the NIST Framework in the Rule as an informative reference would help to address ‘‘the growing thicket of cybersecurity compliance obligations that are spreading across the financial services sector.’’ 35 FSR/BITS recommended further that the Commission modify the Rule so that financial institutions that use the NIST Framework would be found in de facto compliance with the Rule.36 With respect to the PCIDSS, numerous commenters opposed the Rule’s reference or incorporation of PCIDSS.37 Commenters argued such an amendment has the possibility of undermining the Rule’s flexibility by imposing a ‘‘one-size-fits-all’’ approach.38 MasterCard Worldwide, a co-founder and developer of PCIDSS, opposed this amendment to the Rule, highlighting that the PCIDSS was created by major card networks for participants in the card industry.39 Whereas the PCIDSS may be appropriate for payment card issuers and acquirers, MasterCard argued, it would not necessarily apply well to other financial institutions.40 Other comments agreed that incorporating PCIDSS would be inappropriate.41 No commenters wrote 33 Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24). 34 See, e.g., Financial Services Roundtable/BITS (Comment #21); Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23). 35 Financial Services Roundtable/BITS (Comment #21). 36 Id. 37 See, e.g., Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14); Retail Industry Leaders Association (Comment #18). 38 Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17). 39 MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14). 40 Id. 41 See Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25) (arguing that there is insufficient overlap between payment card industry and covered financial institutions to justify adopting PCIDSS); Retail Industry Leaders Association (Comment #18) (arguing that adopting PCIDSS would not be an effective basis for a regulation); National Retail Federation (Comment #29) (noting that PCIDSS is a proprietary information security standard controlled by a single industry); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26) (arguing that adopting PCIDSS PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13161 in support of referencing or incorporating the PCIDSS into the Rule. Having considered these comments, the Commission declines to propose changing the Rule to incorporate or reference a particular security standard or framework. As noted above, for a variety of reasons, including questions about the applicability of the particular standards at issue to all financial institutions, the majority of commenters opposed referencing or incorporating any specific information security standard or framework into the Rule. Mandating that companies follow a particular security standard or framework would reduce the flexibility built into the current Rule. This proposal does not amend the Rule to allow compliance with such standards to serve as a safe harbor against Commission enforcement, as some commenters sought. The Commission seeks additional comment on how such a program could remain up to date and respond rapidly to changes in the security environment, and the workability of monitoring changing standards and adapting a safe harbor rule as needed. 4. Whether the Safeguards Rule Should Contain its own Definition of ‘‘Financial Institution’’ Rather Than CrossReference the Definition set Forth in the Privacy Rule The Commission also asked whether the Rule should be revised to incorporate a definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and related examples in the Rule itself, rather than cross-reference reference definitions and examples set forth in the Privacy Rule.42 The term ‘‘financial institution’’ is defined in the Privacy Rule, and that term is cross-referenced in the Safeguards Rule.43 Under the DoddFrank Act,44 the majority of the Commission’s rulemaking authority for the Privacy Rule was transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with the exception of rulemaking authority pertaining to certain motor vehicle dealers.45 Accordingly, the Commission’s Privacy Rule now applies only to certain motor vehicle dealers. The Safeguards Rule, however, still applies to all financial institutions within the FTC’s general enforcement jurisdiction.46 Thus, currently, the would amount to outsourcing federal rulemaking authority). 42 Privacy of Consumer Financial Information Rule (‘‘Privacy Rule’’), 16 CFR part 313. 43 16 CFR 313.3(k); 16 CFR 314.2(a). 44 Public Law 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). 45 15 U.S.C. 6804(a)(1)(C). 46 15 U.S.C. 6804(a)(1)(A). E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13162 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ in the Privacy Rule—which governs the scope of the Safeguards Rule—applies to all financial institutions within the Commission’s jurisdiction, despite the fact that most types of financial institutions are no longer subject to the Privacy Rule. This creates a confusing situation where the Privacy Rule, on its face, appears to cover types of ‘‘financial institutions’’ that the Privacy Rule no longer covers. To address this issue, the Commission proposes incorporating the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and the accompanying examples from the Privacy Rule into the Safeguards Rule.47 None of the commenters voiced a view one way or the other on this issue. The Commission notes that this modification would have no substantive effect on the scope of the Rule or its enforcement.48 This change will only increase the clarity of the Rule. 5. Whether, if the Safeguards Rule is Amended To Include its own Definition of ‘‘Financial Institution,’’ That Definition Should be Expanded to Also Include (1) Entities That are Significantly Engaged in Activities That the Federal Reserve Board has Found To Be Incidental to Financial Activities and/or (2) Activities That Have Been Found To Be Closely Related to Banking or Incidental to Financial Activities by Regulation or Order in Effect After the Enactment of the GLBA Finally, the Commission asked about the scope of the definition of ‘‘financial institution.’’ When promulgating the Privacy Rule in 2000, the Commission determined that companies engaged in activities that are ‘‘incidental to financial activities’’ would not be considered ‘‘financial institutions.’’ 49 The Commission was the only agency to adopt this restrictive definition in its Privacy Rule, while the other agencies included incidental activities.50 In addition, the Commission decided that activities that were determined to be financial in nature after the enactment of the GLBA would not be automatically included in its Privacy Rule; rather, the Commission would have to take additional action to include them.51 The effect of these two decisions was to limit the activities covered by the Commission’s rules to those set out in 12 CFR 225.28 as it existed in 2000, and to exclude any activities later determined by the Federal Reserve Board to be financial activities or incidental to those activities.52 The definition from the Privacy Rule was incorporated into the Safeguards Rule.53 Thus, in the Request for Comment,54 the Commission sought comment on whether it should more closely align with other agencies and amend the Safeguards Rule to include ‘‘incidental’’ activities and activities determined to be financial or incidental after 1999. In 2000, the Federal Reserve Board determined that acting as a ‘‘finder’’ is an activity that is ‘‘incidental to a financial activity.’’ 55 The Federal Reserve Board defined ‘‘finding’’ as bringing together buyers and sellers of products or services for transactions that the buyers and sellers themselves negotiate and consummate. The majority of commenters who addressed the definition of ‘‘financial institutions’’ urged the Commission not to amend the definition to include more than those businesses that conduct traditional financial activities or to include activities determined to be financial in nature or incidental after the enactment of the GLBA.56 For example, the Software & Information Industry Association (‘‘SIIA’’) commented that the Rule already has an impact beyond financial institutions themselves in encouraging entities that receive customer information from financial institutions to take measures to secure that data, even though they may not be legally obligated to do so under the Rule.57 Per SIIA, this is because they are either contractually bound by partnerships with financial institutions, or compete for business on the ability to meet high security requirements.58 The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (‘‘SIFMA’’) also 51 65 FR 33646, 33654 n.23 (May 24, 2000). 52 Id. 53 16 CFR 314.2(a). FR 61632 (Sept. 7, 2016). 55 See 65 FR 80735 (Dec. 22, 2000); 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1). 56 See, e.g., National Association of Convenience Stores (Comment #28); Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25). 57 Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23). But see National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40) (supporting more specific requirements for service providers’ security). 58 Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23). jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 54 81 47 The Commission is releasing a NPRM that proposes parallel revisions to the Privacy Rule concurrently with this NRPM. 48 Separately, as noted below, the Commission proposes to revise the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to cover finders. 49 See 16 CFR 313.3(k); see also 65 FR 33646, 33654 (May 24, 2000). 50 The Commission also added the requirement that an entity must be ‘‘significantly engaged’’ in the financial activity to be considered a financial institution under the Privacy Rule. 16 CFR 313.3(k). The Commission is not proposing to change this requirement. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 opposed this amendment, claiming that the securities industry makes a proactive, regular effort to familiarize itself with other regulatory frameworks’ definitions in order to satisfy the Rule’s ‘‘reasonable’’ standard.59 Thus, the Rule already implicitly requires their industry, SIFMA argues, ‘‘to understand the Privacy Act, Federal Reserve Board guidance, and the [GLBA’s] impact. Creating new, or modifying existing, definitions in the Rule would eliminate the Rule’s flexibility in this regard.’’ 60 In opposition to an expansion of the definition of financial institutions that might include incidental participants in financial transactions, the National Association of Convenience Stores (‘‘NACS’’) noted that some incidental participants—such as its members—do not store customer-identifying information, nor do they have continuing information-based relationships with consumers that would justify development and maintenance of a comprehensive security program.61 Further, according to NACS, its members do not handle some of the most sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers that are more commonly associated with identity theft.62 Financial institutions, by contrast, do handle such sensitive personal consumer information.63 On the other hand, EPIC advocated that the Commission expand the scope of the Rule to include ‘‘all organizations and companies that collect consumer data,’’ such as educational institutions and commercial businesses that process student and consumer information.64 In underscoring the importance of doing so, EPIC noted that such organizations frequently collect the same sensitive information as traditional financial institutions and are subject to the same security threats.65 Having considered these comments, the Commission proposes amending the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to include ‘‘incidental’’ activities and activities determined to be financial or incidental after 1999. This change would bring ‘‘finders’’ within the scope of the Rule. The Commission recognizes that commenters generally opposed revising the definition, but notes that commenters’ concerns generally related 59 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment #25). 60 Id. 61 National Association of Convenience Stores (Comment #28). 62 Id. 63 Id. 64 Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30). 65 Id. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules to issues not presented by the proposed change (e.g., bringing such entities as convenience stores or securities firms within the Rule’s ambit). The Commission is not proposing such a broad expansion, however. The only effect of this proposed amendment would be to cause finders, whose activities often involve collection of financially sensitive personal information, to be covered by the Rule. This modification would ensure that finders adequately protect that information. Because they collect, maintain, and store sensitive consumer information, it is important for them to be subject to requirements to safeguard it. If this sensitive information were to get into the wrong hands, consumers could suffer identity theft, fraud, and other harms. The Commission’s proposed change would not bring any other activities under the coverage of the Rule because the Federal Reserve Board has not determined any activity other than finding to be financial in nature, or incidental to such activity, since the enactment of the GLBA. Further, it would harmonize the Commission’s Rule with other regulators’ Safeguards Rules—which already cover institutions engaged in activities incidental to financial activities—as well as Regulation P, which applies to all other financial institutions that are not covered by the Privacy Rule.66 This harmonization will create a more consistent regulatory landscape that will help to treat businesses the same regardless of which agency is regulating them. Accordingly, the Commission’s proposed amendment to section 314.1(b) indicates that the Rule’s scope includes companies that engage in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to such financial activities. Likewise, the proposed definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ in proposed section 314.2(e)(1) also includes companies engaged in activities that are incidental to financial activities. In connection with this proposal, the Commission requests comment on the impact of expanding the definition of ‘‘financial institutions’’ to include finders. Specifically, the Commission seeks information on 1. The number of finders in the marketplace that would be included in this definition; and 2. the costs and benefits, including the costs and benefits to finders and consumers, of this proposal. 66 As noted above, however, unlike other agencies’ equivalent rules, the FTC Safeguards Rule limits financial institutions to those ‘‘significantly engaged’’ in the financial activity. The Commission is proposing to retain this limitation and extend it to activity incidental to financial activity. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 III. Section-by-Section Analysis As discussed above, the Commission proposes to amend the Safeguards Rule to include more detailed requirements for the development and establishment of the information security program required under the Rule. These amendments are based primarily on the cybersecurity regulations issued by the New York Department of Financial Services, 23 NYCRR 500 (‘‘Cybersecurity Regulations’’), and the insurance data security model law issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (‘‘Model Law’’).67 The Cybersecurity Regulations were issued in February 2017 after two rounds of public comment. The Model Law was issued in October 2017. The Commission believes that both the Cybersecurity Regulations and the Model Law maintain the balance between providing detailed guidance and avoiding overly prescriptive requirements for information security programs. The proposed amendments do not adopt either law wholesale, instead taking portions from each and adapting others for the purposes of the Safeguards Rule.68 The Commission is interested in receiving data, research, case studies, or other evidence related to business efforts to comply with the Cybersecurity Regulations or state laws mirroring the Model Law. The Commission is also interested in receiving comments on the extent to which the proposal would preempt existing state laws. Section 507(a) of the GLBA, 15 U.S.C. 6807(a), preserves a state ‘‘statute, regulation, order, or interpretation’’ that is not ‘‘inconsistent’’ with the privacy and security provisions of the GLBA. The Commission is interested in hearing about the effect of the proposal on companies’ compliance with state and federal law. Finally, in light of the proposed amendments and the existence of several cybersecurity frameworks that require processes similar to the Proposed Rule, the Commission additionally requests comments on the potential for safe harbors against Commission enforcement of the Safeguards Rule, including evidence on the efficacy and 67 National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Insurance Data Security Model Law (2017), www.naic.org/store/free/MDL-668.pdf. South Carolina has enacted legislation based on the Model Law. 2017 S.C. Act No. 171, R. 184, H 4655. 68 At the time the Commission issued its request for comments, neither the Cybersecurity Regulations nor the Model Law had been implemented, so the Commission did not seek comment on the more detailed approaches they adopted. The Commission is doing so through this NPRM. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13163 utility of safe harbors in other contexts and perspectives on the viability of a safe harbor in the present context, especially as safe harbors relate to small business. In addition to the amendments related to the requirements for information security programs, the Commission proposes amendments to the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and the addition of examples previously contained in the Privacy Rule, as discussed above. It also adds to the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ entities that engage in activities incidental to financial activities. The following is a section-by-section analysis of the proposed amendments. The Commission seeks comments on the proposed amendments in general but also seeks comment on specific questions as set forth in the analysis below. Proposed Amendments to Section 314.1: Purpose and Scope The proposed amendment would add language from section 313.1(b) of the Privacy Rule, relating to the scope of the Rule and definition of financial institution, to section 314.1(b) of the Safeguards Rule. This addition would set forth the scope of the Safeguards Rule, which previously applied to the same entities as the Privacy Rule until the Dodd-Frank Act limited the scope of the Privacy Rule only to certain automobile dealers. As noted above, the Commission is proposing in a concurrent NPRM to amend the Privacy Rule to reflect the narrower scope of that regulation 69 and, in turn, proposes to amend the Safeguards Rule to clarify that it retains its original scope. Section 314.1(b) states that the Safeguards Rule applies to the handling of customer information by all financial institutions over which the Commission has jurisdiction. The proposed amendment sets forth the general definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and provides examples of financial institutions under the Commission’s jurisdiction, such as finance companies and mortgage brokers. The added language is taken largely from the existing Privacy Rule. The new language is not meant to change the scope of the Safeguards Rule, other than to reflect the proposed addition of ‘‘finders’’ to the Rule’s scope, as discussed below. 69 A notice of proposed rulemaking relating to the Privacy Rule is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13164 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Proposed Amendment to Section 314.2: Definitions The proposed amendments to section 314.2 add definitions to terms introduced in the proposed amended Rule. The proposed amendments do not alter or remove any definitions in the existing Rule. Existing definitions are interspersed with new definitions in alphabetical order. The Commission is interested in hearing whether these updated definitions reflect current practices, or whether they need to be adjusted to avoid unintended consequences, modified or eliminated for smaller firms, or narrowed to avoid undue burden. Proposed paragraph (a), which states that terms used in the Safeguards Rule have the same meaning as set forth in the Privacy Rule, would be unchanged from the existing Rule. This provision will apply to terms defined in the Privacy Rule but not in the Safeguards Rule, such as ‘‘customer’’ and ‘‘nonpublic personal information.’’ Proposed paragraph (b) would define an ‘‘authorized user’’ of an information system as any employee, contractor, agent or other person that participates in the business operations of an entity and is authorized to access and use any of that financial institution’s information systems and data.70 This term is used in proposed section 314.4(c)(10), which requires financial institutions to implement policies to monitor the activity of authorized users and detect unauthorized access to customer information. Proposed paragraph (c) would define a ‘‘security event’’ as ‘‘an event resulting in unauthorized access to, or disruption or misuse of, an information system or information stored on such information system.’’71 This term is used in proposed provisions requiring financial 70 This definition is substantively identical to the definition found in 23 NYCRR 500.01(b). 71 This definition is based on the definition found in the Model Law, Section 3(D). The proposed amendment adopts the term ‘‘security event’’ in place of the Model Law’s term ‘‘cybersecurity event’’ to clarify that an information security program encompasses information in both digital and paper form and that unauthorized access to paper files would also be a security event under the Rule. For this reason, throughout the proposed amendment, the Commission has proposed to replace the term ‘‘cybersecurity’’ from the Cybersecurity Regulations and Model Law with either ‘‘information security’’ or simply ‘‘security.’’ In addition, the proposed definition does not include the Model Law’s exemption for the acquisition of encrypted information or events where the covered entity determines that the information accessed by an unauthorized person has not been used or released and has been returned or destroyed. In both instances, the Commission believes that a financial institution should still engage in its incident response procedures to address the failures in its information security that allowed such events to occur. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 institutions to establish written incident response plans designed to respond to security events and to implement audit trails to detect and respond to security events. It also appears in a proposed provision requiring a financial institution’s chief information security officer to provide an annual report to the financial institution’s governing body, which must identify all security events that took place that year. Proposed paragraph (d) is the existing Rule’s paragraph (b) and would not alter the definition of ‘‘customer information.’’ Proposed paragraph (e) would define ‘‘encryption’’ as ‘‘the transformation of data into a form that results in a low probability of assigning meaning without the use of a protective process or key.’’ This term is used in proposed section 314.4(c)(4), which generally requires financial institutions to encrypt customer information, with certain exceptions. This definition is adopted from the Model Law 72 and is intended to define the process of encryption while not requiring any particular technology or technique for achieving the protection provided by encryption. The Commission seeks comment on this definition. As discussed above, proposed paragraph (f) would incorporate the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ from the Privacy Rule. The Commission is proposing one substantive change to the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to include entities that are ‘‘significantly engaged in activities that are incidental’’ to financial activities as defined by the Bank Holding Company Act. As discussed above, this change would bring only one activity into the definition that was not covered before: The act of ‘‘finding,’’ as defined in 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1). The proposed revision to paragraph (f) would add an example of a financial institution acting as a finder by ‘‘bringing together one or more buyers and sellers of any product or service for transactions that the parties themselves negotiate and consummate.’’ This example uses the language set forth in 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1), which defines finding as an activity that is incidental to a financial activity under the Bank Holding Company Act. Proposed paragraph (g) is the existing Rule’s paragraph (c) and would not alter the definition of ‘‘information security program.’’ Proposed paragraph (h) would define ‘‘information system’’ as ‘‘a discrete set of electronic information resources organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, 72 Model PO 00000 Law, Section 3(F). Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 dissemination or disposition of electronic information, as well as any specialized system such as industrial/ process controls systems, telephone switching and private branch exchange systems, and environmental control systems.’’ 73 The term ‘‘information system’’ is used throughout the proposed amendments to designate the systems that must be covered by the information security program. This definition is designed to cover the systems, including hardware, software, and networks that financial institutions use to maintain, process, access and store customer information. It is meant to be a broad definition that covers any system that, if compromised, could result in unauthorized access to customer information. Proposed paragraph (i) would define ‘‘multi-factor authentication’’ as ‘‘authentication through verification of at least two of the following types of authentication factors: 1. Knowledge factors, such as a password; 2. possession factors, such as a token; or 3. inherence factors, such as biometric characteristics.’’ This term is used in proposed section 314.4(c)(6), which requires financial institutions to implement multi-factor authentication for individuals accessing internal networks that contain customer information. This definition comes from the Cybersecurity Regulations 74 and is designed to conform to current understanding of what constitutes multi-factor authentication while still allowing financial institutions considerable flexibility in designing systems to protect their networks.75 Under this definition, a system of multifactor authentication would need to verify at least two of the three types of factors, but has considerable flexibility in how to implement each factor. For example, under the knowledge factor, financial institutions are not limited to requiring passwords for access to systems, but might also use biographical information, or other knowledge that should be limited to the authorized user. The possession factor, could 73 This definition is identical to the definition in 23 NYCRR 500.1(e). 74 23 NYCRR 500.01(f). The proposed amendment deviates from the language of the Cybersecurity Regulations in that it does not include text messages as an example of a possession factor. As NIST has noted, SMS text messages are vulnerable to compromise and may not be an appropriate means of verifying identity. See, e.g., NIST Special Publication 800–63B, Digital Identity Guidelines, 5.1.3.3 (restricting use of verification using the Public Switched Telephone Network (SMS or voice) as an ‘‘out-of-band’’ factor for multifactor authentication). 75 See NIST, Glossary, ‘‘Multifactor Authentication,’’ https://csrc.nist.gov/glossary/ term/Multi_Factor_Authentication. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS include verifying that a recognized device is accessing the system, or the transmission of a one-time code to a device on file with the financial institution. For the inherence factors, fingerprints, retina scans, or voice prints can be used. The Commission seeks comment on whether this definition is sufficiently flexible, while still requiring the elements of meaningful multi-factor authentication. Proposed paragraph (j) would define ‘‘penetration testing’’ as a ‘‘test methodology in which assessors attempt to circumvent or defeat the security features of an information system by attempting penetration of databases or controls from outside or inside your information systems.’’ 76 This term is used in proposed section 314.4(d)(2), which requires financial institutions to continually monitor the effectiveness of their safeguards or to engage in annual penetration testing. The primary example of penetration testing is where a security expert uses common techniques in an attempt to breach the security of a financial institution’s information system. As set forth in the proposed definition, this includes attempts where the penetration tester is acting as an outsider who must penetrate the system without any initial access to the system, and attempts where the tester acts as someone with limited access to the system—such as a contractor or employee—and tries to access information that such an insider is not authorized to access. The Commission believes that there is currently a commonly understood definition of these services and that this definition provides sufficient guidance to understand the requirements of the proposed amendments. Proposed paragraph (k) is the existing Rule’s paragraph (d) and would not alter the definition of ‘‘service provider.’’ Proposed Amendment to Section 314.3: Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information Current section 314.3 requires financial institutions to develop an information security program (subsection (a)) and sets forth the objectives of the Rule (subsection (b)). Proposed section 314.3 retains the current requirements of section 314.3 under subsection (a) and the existing statement of objectives under subsection (b). It would, however, change the requirement that ‘‘safeguards’’ be based on the elements set forth in section 314.4, by replacing ‘‘safeguards’’ with ‘‘information security program.’’ This 76 This definition is substantively identical to the definition found in 23 NYCRR 500.01(h). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 change is proposed to clarify that the elements set forth in section 314.4 are parts of the information security plan. Proposed Amendments to Section 314.4: Elements The proposed amendments to section 314.4 would alter existing required elements of an information security program and adds several new elements. Although the Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently flexible, it seeks comment on whether it creates unintended consequences for businesses, may be more stringent than necessary to achieve the objective, and/ or unnecessarily modifies the current rule without creating a material benefit to security. Proposed Paragraph (a) Amended paragraph (a) would expand the current requirement of designating an ‘‘employee or employees to coordinate your information security program’’ by requiring the designation of a single qualified individual responsible for overseeing and implementing the financial institution’s security program and enforcing its information security program.77 This individual is referenced in the Rule as a Chief Information Security Officer or ‘‘CISO.’’ This title is for clarity in the proposed Rule; financial institutions would not be required to actually grant that title to the designated individual. The proposed amendment would no longer allow financial institutions to designate more than one employee to coordinate the information security program. The Commission is interested in hearing about the potential costs and benefits of this proposal. In particular, the Commission is interested in any data, research or case studies that the Commission could use to analyze whether this is the best approach. This proposed change is intended to ensure that a single individual is accountable for overseeing the entire information security program and to lessen the possibility that there will be gaps in responsibility between individuals. The Commission believes that requiring a single responsible individual will increase accountability for the security of financial institutions’ information systems. Under the proposed amendment, the CISO need not be an employee of the financial institution, but can be an employee of an affiliate or a service provider. This proposed change is meant to accommodate financial 77 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(a). This amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.04(a) and is functionally identical. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13165 institutions that may prefer to retain an outside expert, lack the resources to employ their own information security staff qualified to oversee a program, or decide to pool resources with affiliates to share staff to manage information security. To the extent a financial institution meets this requirement by using a service provider or affiliate, however, the proposed amendment would require that the financial institution still: 1. Retain responsibility for compliance with the Rule; 2. designate a senior member of its personnel to be responsible for direction and oversight of the CISO; and 3. require the service provider or affiliate to maintain an information security program that protects the financial institution in accordance with the Rule. These proposed amendments are designed to ensure that, even when the financial institution outsources the CISO function, the financial institution retains responsibility for its own information security. Proposed Paragraph (b) The proposed amendments to paragraph (b) clarify that a financial institution must base its information security program on the findings of its risk assessment by changing the first sentence of existing paragraph (b) to read that financial institutions’ ‘‘information security program shall be based on a risk assessment. . . .’’ 78 This is intended to emphasize this requirement, which is already required under the existing Rule.79 In addition, the proposed amendment removes existing section 314.4(b)’s requirement that the risk assessment must include consideration of specific risks 80 because these specific risks are set forth elsewhere in the proposed amendments.81 Proposed section 314.4(b)(1) would require that the risk assessments be written and based on criteria for evaluating the risks the institutions face based on their particular information systems and the customer information they hold.82 In addition, revised paragraph (b)(1) would require that the risk assessment describe how the financial institution will mitigate or 78 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b). CFR 314.4(b). 80 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3). 81 See, e.g., Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(2), (c)(10), and (e). 82 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.09(b). Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1) retains the requirement from the Cybersecurity Regulations that the risk assessment be written, but deviates from the Cybersecurity Regulations in that it does not require that the criteria for the risk assessment be written. 79 16 E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13166 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS accept any identified risks and how the financial institution’s information security program will address those risks.83 The Commission is proposing these requirements in order to encourage financial institutions to perform thorough and complete risk assessments. The proposed amendment would allow financial institutions to develop their own criteria suited to their needs, but generally the criteria should address the sensitivity and value of customer information collected, maintained or transmitted by the financial institution and possible vectors through which the security, confidentiality, and integrity of that information could be threatened. The proposed amendment to section 314.4(b) would also add a requirement that financial institutions ‘‘periodically perform additional risk assessments that reexamine the reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction or other compromise of such information, and reassess the sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks.’’ 84 The Commission believes that in order to be effective, a risk assessment must be subject to periodic reevaluation to adapt to changes in both financial institutions’ information systems and changes in threats to the security of those systems. The proposed amendment would not set forth a prescriptive schedule for the periodic risk assessment, but would require financial institutions to set their own schedule based on the needs and resources of their institution. Proposed Paragraph (c) Proposed paragraph (c) retains the existing Rule’s requirement for financial institutions to design and implement safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk assessment. It also adds more detailed requirements for what these safeguards must include. The Commission believes that most financial institutions already implement such measures as part of their comprehensive information security programs under the existing Rule. The proposed amendment simply makes these requirements explicit in order to clarify the Rule and ensure that financial institutions understand their obligations under the Rule. Amended paragraph (c)(1) would require financial institutions to place access controls on information systems, 83 Proposed 84 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1)(iii). 16 CFR 314.4(b)(2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 designed to authenticate users and permit access only to authorized individuals in order to protect customer information from unauthorized acquisition.85 The Commission views this as a fundamental requirement of all information security programs,86 which certainly would have been a part of any program that met the requirements of the existing Rule. Proposed paragraph (c)(2) would require financial institutions to ‘‘[i]dentify and manage the data, personnel, devices, systems, and facilities that enable [the financial institution] to achieve business purposes in accordance with their relative importance to business objectives and [the financial institution’s] risk strategy.’’ 87 This requirement is designed to ensure that the financial institution inventories the data in its possession, inventories the systems on which that data is collected, stored or transmitted, and has a full understanding of the relevant portions of its information systems and their relative importance.88 For example, it would require a company to understand which devices and networks contain customer information, who has access to them, and how those systems are connected to each other and to external networks. Proposed paragraph (c)(3) would require that financial institutions restrict access to physical locations containing customer information only to authorized individuals.89 This element would require financial institutions to protect physical locations, as opposed to networks, that contain customer information and is designed to address the threat to physical copies of records.90 This would require financial 85 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(1). This proposed amendment is based primarily on the Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(a), though it adds the Cybersecurity Regulations’ requirement that such controls be periodically reviewed. 23 NYCRR 500.07. The proposed amendments use the Model Law, as opposed to the Cybersecurity Regulations, where, as here, the format is more easily integrated into the current Rule. 86 See, e.g., Complaint, Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 152 3054 (October 26, 2018) (alleging that company failed to implement reasonable access controls). 87 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(2). This proposed amendment is based on the Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(b), and is functionally identical to it. 88 See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., No. CV 12–1365–PHX–PGR (D. Ariz. August 8, 2012) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security by, among other things, failing to inventory computers connected to its network). 89 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(3). This proposed amendment is based on Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(c) and is functionally identical to it. 90 See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. LifeLock, Inc., No. 2:10-cv-00530–MHM (D. Ariz. March 9, 2010) PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 institutions to protect paper files and control access to areas in which such files are stored. This may include restricting access to work areas where personnel are using hard copies of customer information or requiring physical locks on filing cabinets containing customer information and similar protections. It would also include policies for securing physical devices that contain personal information, such as laptops, tablets, phones, and thumb drives. Proposed paragraph (c)(4) would generally require financial institutions to encrypt all customer information, both in transit and at rest.91 The Commission believes that in most circumstances encryption is an appropriate and important way to protect customer information from unauthorized use and access.92 Recognizing that companies may need flexibility in certain unforeseen circumstances, the proposed amendment does, however, permit financial institutions to use alternative means to protect customer information, subject to review and approval by the CISO. This is similar to the approach taken by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule, which permits a covered entity to use an alternative to encryption if it determines that encryption is not reasonable and documents an equivalent alternative measure.93 The Commission seeks comment on this approach. Proposed paragraph (c)(5) would establish a requirement that financial institutions ‘‘[a]dopt secure development practices for in-house developed applications utilized’’ for ‘‘transmitting, accessing, or storing customer information.’’ 94 This proposed amendment is designed to ensure that financial institutions address the security of software they develop to handle customer information, as distinct from the security of their networks that contain (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security where it received customers’ personal information by facsimile in an open and easily accessible area). 91 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(4). This proposed amendment is based on both 23 NYCRR 500.15 and Model Law Section 4(D)(2)(d). It takes the general format from the Model Law but integrates the requirement that any alternative measures must be approved by the CISO from the Cybersecurity Regulations. 92 See, e.g., Complaint, Uber Technologies, Inc., FTC No. 152 3054 (October 26, 2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security when it stored sensitive personal information in plain text rather than encrypting it). 93 See 45 CFR 164.306(d)(3); id. 164.312(a)(2)(iv) (making encryption an addressable specification). 94 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(5). E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS customer information.95 Financial institutions would be required to adopt practices designed to develop applications that do not subject customer information to unacceptable risk of unauthorized access. In addition, this amendment would require financial institutions to develop ‘‘procedures for evaluating, assessing, or testing the security of externally developed applications [they] utilize to transmit, access, or store customer information.’’ This proposed provision is designed to ensure that financial institutions take steps to verify that applications they use to handle customer information are secure.96 Under this amendment, financial institutions would be required to take reasonable steps to assure themselves that applications they use to handle customer information are secure and will not expose customer information. Amended paragraph (c)(6) would require financial institutions to ‘‘implement multi-factor authentication for any individual accessing customer information’’ or ‘‘internal networks that contain customer information.’’ 97 The Commission views multi-factor authentication as a minimum standard to allowing access to customer information for most financial institutions.98 As discussed above, the Commission believes that the definition of multi-factor authentication is sufficiently flexible to allow most financial institutions to develop a system that is suited to their needs. Currently used forms of multifactor authentication, such as requiring both a password and the receipt of a one-time passcode on a registered device, would meet this proposed requirement. To the extent that a financial institution finds that a method other than multi-factor authentication offers reasonably equivalent or more secure access controls, the institution may adopt that 95 See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. D-Link Systems, Inc., No. 3:17–CV–00039–JD (N.D. Cal. March 20, 2017) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security when it failed to adequately test the software on its devices). 96 See, e.g., Complaint, Lenovo, FTC No. 152– 3134 (January 2, 2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security by failing to properly assess and address security risks caused by thirdparty software). 97 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(6). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.12, although it has been limited to requiring multifactor authentication only for accessing customer information. 98 See, e.g., Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council, ‘‘Authentication in an Electronic Banking Environment,’’ (August 8, 2001) (‘‘In general, multi-factor authentication should be used on higher risk systems.’’); see also Complaint, TaxSlayer, FTC No. 1623063 (November 8, 2017) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security when it used single factor authentication). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 method with the written permission of its CISO. The Commission seeks comment on this approach. Amended paragraph (c)(7) would require information systems under the Rule to include audit trails designed to detect and respond to security events.99 Audit trails are chronological logs that show who has accessed an information system and what activities the user engaged in during a given period.100 The proposed Rule does not require any specific type of audit trail, nor does it require that every transaction be recorded in its entirety. However, the audit trail must be designed to allow the financial institution to detect when the system has been compromised or when an attempt to compromise has been made. It must also provide sufficient information for the financial institution to reasonably respond to the event. The proposed amendment does not require that the audit trails be retained for any particular period, but the Commission believes that in order to allow the financial institution to detect and respond to security events, the audit trails will usually have to be maintained for some reasonable length of time. Financial institutions would need to determine the appropriate retention period for their operations. The Commission seeks comment on whether this requirement needs to be modified or eliminated for smaller firms, or narrowed to avoid undue burden. Amended paragraph (c)(8) would require financial institutions to develop procedures for the secure disposal of customer information in any format that is no longer necessary for their business operations or other legitimate business purposes.101 The proposed amendment allows the retention of information when retaining the information is required by law or where targeted disposal is not feasible due to the manner in which the information is maintained, such as when the information is on paper records that cannot be destroyed without also destroying other information which is still necessary for business operations. 99 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(7). This proposed amendment is based on Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(i), but removes the requirement that the audit trail be able to reconstruct material financial transactions. The proposed amendment requires only that the audit trail be designed to detect and respond to security events. 100 See Computer Security Resource Center, Glossary, ‘‘Audit Trail,’’ https://csrc.nist.gov/ glossary/term/audit-trail. 101 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(8). This proposed amendment is based on Model Law, Section D(2)(k), but adds additional language from 23 NYCRR 500.13, which requires disposal of information that is no longer necessary for business operation or other legitimate business purposes, but provides an exception where disposal is not feasible. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13167 The disposal of records, both physical and digital, can result in exposure of customer information if not performed properly.102 Similarly, if records are retained when they are no longer necessary, there is a risk that those records will be subject to unauthorized access. This amendment would require financial institutions to reduce both of those risks by designing procedures to dispose of records that are no longer necessary and to do so securely and in a timely manner. The proposed amendment does not define ‘‘legitimate business purposes,’’ as the Commission feels that the wide array of business models of financial institutions under its jurisdiction defies any such attempt. The Commission seeks comment on whether the Rule should define legitimate business purposes to exclude certain uses of customer information, require the destruction of certain types of data after a fixed period, or require financial institutions to affirmatively demonstrate a current need for customer information that is retained. The Commission also seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment should include a requirement to develop procedures to limit the collection of customer information that is not necessary for business operation or other legitimate business purposes. Proposed paragraph (c)(9) would require financial institutions to adopt procedures for change management.103 Change management procedures govern the addition, removal, or modification of elements of an information system.104 Under the proposed amendment, financial institutions would need to develop procedures to assess the security of devices, networks, and other items to be added to their information system or the effect of removing such items or otherwise modifying the information system. For example, a financial institution that acquired a new subsidiary and wished to combine the new subsidiary’s network with its own would be required to assess the security of the new network and the effect of adding it to the existing network. Although the Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently balanced, it seeks comment on whether the proposal may be more stringent than 102 See, e.g., Rite Aid Corp., FTC No. 072–3121 (November 22, 2010) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable data security when it failed to implement policies and procedures to dispose securely of personal information). 103 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(9). This proposed amendment is unique to this proposal and is not based on the Cybersecurity Regulations or the Model Law. 104 See, e.g., Rutgers Information Security, Change Management, https://rusecure.rutgers.edu/content/ change-management. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13168 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules necessary to achieve the objective, or unnecessarily modifies the current rule without creating a material benefit to security. Proposed paragraph (c)(10) would require financial institutions to implement policies and procedures designed ‘‘to monitor the activity of authorized users and detect unauthorized access or use of, or tampering with, customer information by such users.’’ 105 In addition to threats posed by outside actors, authorized users such as employees and contractors can pose a substantial risk to the security of customer information.106 This amendment would require financial institutions to take steps to monitor those users and their activities related to customer information in a manner adapted to the financial institution’s particular operations and needs. The monitoring should allow financial institutions to identify inappropriate use of customer information by authorized users, such as transferring large amounts of data or accessing information for which the user has no legitimate use. This requirement is separate from the requirement to maintain ‘‘audit trails,’’ which would require logging of unusual events. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Proposed Paragraph (d) Proposed paragraph (d)(1) would retain the current Rule’s requirement that financial institutions ‘‘[r]egularly test or otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the safeguards’ key controls, systems, and procedures, including those to detect actual and attempted attacks on, or intrusions into, information systems.’’ 107 The Commission views testing and monitoring as an integral part of any information security program.108 Proposed paragraph (d)(2) provides further guidance noting that the monitoring should take the form of either ‘‘continuous monitoring’’ or 105 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(10). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.14(a) and is functionally identical. 106 See, e.g., Complaint, U.S. v. ChoicePoint Inc., No. 1:06-cv-00198–GET (N.D. Ga. January 30, 2006) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security when it failed to monitor the activities of authorized users). 107 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(d). This language is based on the current rule’s requirement for regular testing, 16 CFR 314.4(c), but adds the requirement for either continuous monitoring or regular penetration testing and vulnerability assessments from 23 NYCRR 500.05. 108 See, e.g., U.S. v. VTech Electronics Limited, No. 1:18-cv-00114 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable information security when it failed to monitor its network and failed to perform vulnerability and penetration testing). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 ‘‘periodic penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.’’ Continuous monitoring is any system that allows real-time, ongoing monitoring of an information system’s security, including monitoring for security threats, misconfigured systems, and other vulnerabilities.109 The Commission seeks comment on whether these required enhancements are appropriate, as well as information about the potential costs or unintended consequences of this proposal. If a financial institution does not adopt effective continuous monitoring, under the proposed amendments it would be required to engage in periodic penetration testing and vulnerability assessment consisting of no less than annual penetration testing based on the financial institution’s risk assessment and biannual vulnerability assessments designed to detect publicly known vulnerabilities.110 These tests may be performed directly by the financial institution or by third-party assessors, as long as they are designed to assess the systems that contain or can be used to access customer information and are performed effectively. The schedule of this required testing aligns with the requirements of the Cybersecurity Regulations. The Commission seeks comment on whether this schedule of penetration testing and vulnerability assessment is appropriate or whether the Rule should require these tasks to be performed more or less frequently. In particular, the Commission is interested in any data, research or case studies that the Commission could use to analyze what commenters advocate. Proposed Paragraph (e) Proposed paragraph (e) would require financial institutions to implement policies and procedures ‘‘to ensure that personnel are able to enact [the financial institution’s] information security program’’ through various forms of training and education.111 Training of employees is a critical part of information security, as employees will be the ones enforcing and implementing any information security program.112 First, financial institutions would be 109 Financial institutions that choose the option of continuous monitoring would also be satisfying 314.4(c)(10). 110 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(d)(1) and (2). 111 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e). 112 See, e.g., Complaint, Lenovo, FTC No. 152– 3134 (January 2, 2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security by failing to provide adequate data security training for employees responsible for testing third-party software); Complaint, HTC America Inc., FTC No. 122 3049 (July 2, 2013) (alleging that company failed to implement adequate privacy and security guidance or training for its engineering staff). PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 required to provide their personnel with ‘‘security awareness training that is updated to reflect risks identified by the risk assessment.’’ 113 This requirement would apply to all personnel that have the ability to handle, access, or dispose of customer information. The training would be designed to inform personnel of the risks to customer information and the financial institution’s policies and procedures to minimize those risks.114 Second, financial institutions would be required to ‘‘[u]tiliz[e] qualified information security personnel,’’ employed either by them or by affiliates or service providers, ‘‘to manage [their] information security risks and to perform or oversee the information security program.’’ 115 This amendment is designed to ensure that information security personnel used by financial institutions are qualified for their positions and that sufficient personnel are used. Third, financial institutions would be required to ‘‘[p]rovid[e] information security personnel with security updates and training sufficient to address relevant security risks.’’ 116 Maintaining awareness of emerging threats and vulnerabilities is a critical aspect of information security that the Commission believes was already a part of any information security program that complies with the existing Safeguards Rule. This amendment formalizes the requirement that financial institutions provide information security personnel with ongoing training to stay abreast of such developments. It is separate from the requirement to train all personnel generally, reflected in paragraph (e)(1). Fourth, financial institutions would be required to ‘‘[v]erify[ ] that key information security personnel take steps to maintain current knowledge of changing cybersecurity threats and countermeasures.’’ 117 For example, a financial institution could offer incentives or funds for key personnel to undertake continuing education that addresses recent developments, include a requirement to stay abreast of security 113 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(1). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.14(b) and is functionally identical. 114 The Commission offers educational material on data security that can aid financial institutions in developing training materials for their employees. See, e.g., FTC Business Center, Data Security, https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/businesscenter/privacy-and-security/data-security. 115 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(2). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(1) and is functionally identical. 116 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(3). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(2) and is functionally identical. 117 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(4). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(3) and is functionally identical. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules research as part of their performance metrics, or conduct an annual assessment of key personnel’s knowledge of threats related to their information system. This requirement would be in addition to the proposed requirement that data security personnel be provided ongoing training. The proposed amendment does not define ‘‘key personnel’’ as the Commission believes that which personnel are ‘‘key’’ will vary considerably from entity to entity and that each financial institution will need to determine which employees must maintain this knowledge based on their structure and risk assessments. In most cases, though, the Commission believes that at a minimum the CISO and senior cybersecurity personnel would be covered by this amendment. Although the Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently flexible, it seeks comment on whether these proposals create unintended consequences for businesses, may be more stringent than necessary to achieve the objective, and/or unnecessarily modifies the current rule without creating a material benefit to security. In particular, the Commission is interested in any data, research or case studies that the Commission could use to analyze what commenters advocate. Proposed Paragraph (f) jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Proposed paragraph (f) would retain the current Rule’s requirement in existing paragraph (d) regarding the oversight of service providers, and add a requirement that financial institutions periodically assess service providers ‘‘based on the risk they present and the continued adequacy of their safeguards.’’ 118 The current Rule requires an assessment of service providers’ safeguards only at the onboarding stage; the proposed addition is designed to require financial institutions to monitor their service providers on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are maintaining adequate safeguards to protect customer information that they possess or access.119 This ongoing oversight could include investigating red flags raised by service providers’ practices or conducting periodic assessments of service provider practices, depending on the circumstances. Proposed Paragraph (g) Proposed paragraph (g) would retain the language of existing paragraph (e) in 118 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(g). proposed addition is based on a similar provision in the Cybersecurity Regulations. 23 NYCRR 500.11(a)(4). 119 The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 the current Rule, which would continue to require financial institutions to evaluate and adjust their information security programs in light of the result of testing required by this section, material changes to their operations or business arrangements, or any other circumstances that they know or have reason to know may have a material impact on their information security program.120 While proposed paragraph (d) would amplify the testing required under the current Rule, the requirement to evaluate and adjust the program in light of such testing remains the same. Proposed Paragraph (h) Proposed paragraph (h) would require financial institutions to establish incident response plans.121 The written response plans would be required to be ‘‘designed to promptly respond to, and recover from, any security event materially affecting the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of customer information’’ in the financial institution’s possession. The amendment would require the incident response plans to address the following areas: 1. The goals of the incident response plan; 2. the internal processes for responding to a security event; 3. the definition of clear roles, responsibilities and levels of decision-making authority; 4. external and internal communications and information sharing; 5. identification of requirements for the remediation of any identified weaknesses in information systems and associated controls; 6. documentation and reporting regarding security events and related incident response activities; and 7. the evaluation and revision as necessary of the incident response plan following a security event. The proposed incident response plan requirement focuses on preparing financial institutions to respond promptly and appropriately to security events and to mitigate any weaknesses in their information systems accordingly. It is not intended to create any independent reporting or notification requirements, nor to conflict with any such requirements to which financial institutions are already 120 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(g). 16 CFR 314.4(h). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.16. The proposed amendment, however, requires the plan to address situations when customer information has been compromised, rather than a portion of the financial institution’s information system. In addition, proposed section 314.4(h) does not require the incident response plan to address the continuing functionality of any aspect of the financial institution’s business or operations, as continuity of operations is not relevant to Congress’ mandate under the GLBA, which is to protect customer information. 121 Proposed PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13169 subject. The proposed requirement regarding ‘‘documentation and reporting regarding security events and related incident response activities’’ would require incident response plans to document any notification or reporting requirements imposed by other federal or state laws, but does not in itself impose any such requirement. The Commission seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment should require that financial institutions report security events to the Commission. The Cybersecurity Regulations require covered entities to report security events to the superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, but the proposed rule does not have a similar provision. The Commission seeks comment on whether such a provision should be added and, if so, what the elements of such a provision should be. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on 1. the appropriate deadline for reporting security events after discovery; 2. whether all security events should require notification or whether notification should be required only under certain circumstances, such as a determination of a likelihood of harm to customers or that the event affects a certain number of customers; 3. whether such reports should be made public; 4. whether the events involving encrypted information should be included in the requirement; and 5. whether the requirement should allow law enforcement agencies to prevent or delay notification if notification would affect law-enforcement investigations. In addition to seeking comment on the content of the plan, the Commission seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment would conflict with breach notification or reporting laws already in existence. Some states have enacted breach notification laws that exempt companies that maintain breach response procedures that are compliant with certain federal regulations from having to meet the requirements of the state’s breach notification law. For example, Delaware’s breach notification law states: A person that is regulated by state or federal law, including . . . the Gramm Leach Bliley Act . . . and that maintains procedures for a breach of security pursuant to the laws, rules, regulations, guidance, or guidelines established by its primary or functional state or federal regulator is deemed to be in compliance with this chapter if the person notifies affected Delaware residents in accordance with the E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13170 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules maintained procedures when a breach of security occurs.122 The Commission seeks comment on whether the introduction of the proposed requirement for an incident response plan would cause financial institutions to be exempt from this, or similar, state breach notification laws, and if so, how this should affect the Commission’s decision about whether to require an incident response plan in the Rule.123 Proposed Paragraph (i) Proposed paragraph (i) would require a financial institution’s CISO to ‘‘report in writing, at least annually, to [the financial institution’s] board of directors or equivalent governing body’’ regarding the following information: 1. The overall status of the information security program and financial institution’s compliance with the Safeguards Rule; and 2. material matters related to the information security program, addressing issues such as risk assessment, risk management and control decisions, service provider arrangements, results of testing, security events or violations and management’s responses thereto, and recommendations for changes in the information security program.124 For financial institutions that do not have a board of directors or equivalent, the CISO must make the report to a senior officer responsible for the financial institution’s information security program. This amendment is designed to ensure that the governing body of the financial institution is engaged with and informed about the state of the financial institution’s information security program. Likewise, an annual written report may create accountability for the CISO by requiring the CISO to set forth the status of information security program for the governing body. The Commission requests comment on whether the burden of a required annual report would outweigh the benefits, whether the report should have other 122 Del. Code tit. 6, section 12B–103(b). Commission is not proposing adding an independent breach notification to the Rule. A federal standard under GLB would be largely redundant because of state breach notification laws and because a requirement under the Rule would have limited effect, because the Commission cannot obtain civil penalties for violations of the Rule. The Commission, however, seeks comments on whether adding a breach notification requirement to the Rule would benefit consumers. 124 Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(i). This proposed amendment is based on 23 NYCRR 500.04(b), but borrows from the Model Law the requirements for the contents of the annual report. Model Law, Section E(2). The Commission believes the language from the Model Law is clearer and tied more directly to the requirements of the proposed amendments. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 123 The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 required components, or whether particular components are unnecessary. In addition, the Commission requests comments on whether the proposed rule should also require the Board or equivalent governing body to certify compliance with the Rule. The Commission seeks comment on whether such a requirement would appropriately increase the engagement of the governing body of the financial institution in the information security program or whether it would create too much burden on financial institutions to independently assess the program. The Commission also requests comment on how such a requirement would impact corporate governance; what precedents exist for federallymandated board reporting on specific management issues, and analyses of their efficacy; and what effect requiring reporting to the board or certification by it would have. Proposed Amendments to Section 314.5: Effective Date This proposed amendment replaces the existing effective date of the Rule. In its place, this amendment provides that certain elements of the information security program would not be required until six months after the publication of a final rule rather than immediately upon publication. The paragraphs that would have a delayed effective date are: 314.4(a), related to the appointment of a CISO; 314.4(b)(1), relating to conducting a written risk assessment; 314.4(c)(1)–(10), setting forth the new elements of the information security program; 314.4(d)(2), requiring continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment; 314.4(e), requiring training for personnel; 314.4(f)(3), requiring periodic assessment of service providers; 314.4(h), requiring a written incident response plan; and 314.4(i), requiring annual written reports from the CISO. The effective date of these elements would be delayed because financial institutions may need to take steps to bring their information security programs into compliance with these new requirements. All other requirements under the Safeguards Rule would remain in effect during this sixmonth period. The elements that would be required immediately upon publication are ones that are already required under the current Rule, such as the requirement to have a written security program (314.3(a)); to conduct a risk assessment (314.4(b)); to design and implement safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk assessment (314.4(c)); to regularly test or otherwise PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 monitor the effectiveness of the safeguards’ key controls, systems, and procedures (314.4(d)(1)); to oversee service providers at the onboarding stage (314.4(f)); and to evaluate and adjust the security program in light of the results of testing and monitoring (314.4(g)). These remaining requirements largely mirror the requirements of the existing Rule. The Commission requests comment on this approach. Proposed Section 314.6: Exceptions Proposed section 314.6 is a new section that would exempt financial institutions that maintain relatively small amounts of customer information from certain requirements of the amended Safeguards Rule. The exceptions would apply to financial institutions that maintain customer information concerning fewer than five thousand consumers.125 Such financial institutions would not be required to comply with the following subsections: 314.4(b)(1), requiring a written risk assessment; 314.4(d)(2), requiring continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment; 314.4(h), requiring a written incident response plan; and 314.4(i), requiring an annual written report by the CISO. This proposed section is intended to reduce the burden on smaller financial institutions. The Commission believes that the paragraphs subject to this exemption are the ones that are most likely to cause undue burden on smaller financial institutions. For example, requiring continuous monitoring or a set schedule of testing might be too expensive, depending on the circumstances. The remaining sections of the amended Safeguards Rule would apply to these smaller financial institutions in the same way as other financial institutions. Exempted financial institutions would still need to conduct risk assessments (314.4(b)), design and implement a written information security program with the required elements (314.3 and 314.4(c)), utilize qualified information security personnel and train employees (314.4(e)), monitor activity of authorized users (314.4(c)(10)), oversee service providers (314.4(f)), and evaluate and adjust their information security program (314.4(g)). The Commission seeks comment on whether such exceptions are appropriate or whether all financial institutions should be required to comply with all of the proposed amendments. The Commission also 125 Proposed E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 16 CFR 314.6. Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS seeks comment on whether the exempted paragraphs are appropriate. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on whether the use of the number of customers concerning whom the financial institution retains customer information is the most effective way to determine which financial institutions should be exempted and if so, whether five thousand is an appropriate number. IV. Request for Comment You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 3, 2019. Write ‘‘Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR part 314, Project No. 145407’’ on the comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including the https://www.regulations.gov website. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comment online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR part 314, Project No. P145407’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, please submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible website, https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,’’ as provided by section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2), including in particular, competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled ‘‘Confidential,’’ and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comments to be withheld from the public record.126 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the www.regulations.gov website, we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the Commission website at https://www.ftc.gov to read this document and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before June 3, 2019. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/ privacy-policy. IV. Communications by Outside Parties to the Commissioners or Their Advisors Written communications and summaries or transcripts of oral communications respecting the merits of this proceeding, from any outside party to any Commissioner or Commissioner’s advisor, will be placed on the public record.127 V. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act (‘‘PRA’’), 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, requires federal agencies to seek and obtain OMB approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons.128 A ‘‘collection of information’’ occurs when ten or more persons are asked to report, provide, disclose, or record information in response to ‘‘identical questions.’’ 129 Applying these standards, neither the Safeguards Rule nor the proposed amendments constitute a ‘‘collection of information.’’ 130 The Rule calls upon affected financial institutions to develop or strengthen their information security programs in order to provide reasonable safeguards. Under the Rule, each financial institution’s safeguards will vary according to its size and complexity, the nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of the information involved. For example, a financial institution with numerous employees would develop and implement employee training and management procedures beyond those that would be appropriate or reasonable for a sole proprietorship, such as an individual tax preparer or mortgage broker. Similarly, a financial institution that shares customer information with numerous service providers would need to take steps to ensure that such information remains protected, while a financial institution with no service providers would not need to address this issue. Thus, although each financial institution must summarize its compliance efforts in one or more written documents, the discretionary balancing of factors and circumstances that the Rule allows—including the myriad operational differences among businesses that it contemplated—does not require entities to answer ‘‘identical questions’’ and therefore does not trigger the PRA’s requirements. The proposed amendments would not change this analysis because they would retain the existing Rule’s process-based approach, allowing financial institutions to tailor their programs to reflect the financial institutions’ size, complexity, and operations, and to the sensitivity and amount of customer information they collect. For example, the proposed amendment to section 314.4(b) would require a written risk assessment, but each risk assessment will reflect the particular structure and operation of the financial institution and, though each assessment must include certain criteria, these are only general guidelines and do not consist of ‘‘identical questions.’’ Similarly, the proposed amendment to section 314.4(h), which would require a written 128 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)(i). 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A). 130 See 67 FR 36484, 36491 (May 23, 2002). 126 See 16 CFR 4.9(c). 127 See 16 CFR 1.26(b)(5). PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 13171 129 See Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13172 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS incident response plan, is only an extension of the preexisting requirement of a written information security plan and would necessarily vary significantly based on factors such as the financial institution’s internal procedures, which officials within the financial institution have decision-making authority, how the financial institution communicates internally and externally, and the structure of the financial institution’s information systems. Likewise, the proposed requirement for CISOs to produce annual reports under proposed section 314.4(i) does not consist of answers to identical questions, as the content of these reports would vary considerably between financial institutions and CISOs are given flexibility in deciding what to include in the reports. Finally, the proposed amendments that would modify the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to include ‘‘activities incidental to financial activities’’ and therefore bring finders under the scope of the Rule do not constitute a ‘‘collection of information,’’ and therefore would not trigger the PRA’s requirements. VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires an agency to either provide an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis with a proposed rule, or certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.131 The Commission does not expect that this Rule, if adopted, would have the threshold impact on small entities. First, most of the burdens flow from the mandates of the Act, not from the specific provisions of the proposed Rule. Second, the proposed Rule imposes requirements that are scalable according to the size and complexity of each institution, the nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of its information. Thus, the burden is likely to be less on small institutions, to the extent that their operations are smaller or less complex. In addition, smaller entities are exempted from many requirements of the proposed amendments. Nonetheless, the Commission has determined that it is appropriate to publish an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in order to inquire into the impact of the proposed Rule on small entities. The Commission invites comment on the burden on any small entities that would now be covered, but previously were 131 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 not covered, if the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ is modified as proposed, and the burden on small entities created by the other proposed amendments. The Commission has prepared the following analysis. 1. Reasons for the Proposed Rule The Commission proposes to make the rule clearer by including a definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and related examples in the Safeguards Rule rather than cross-referencing them from the Privacy Rule. The Commission also proposes expanding the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ in the Rule to include entities that are engaged in activities that are incidental to financial activities. This change would bring ‘‘finders’’ within the scope of the Rule. This change would harmonize the Rule with other agencies’ rules and would require finders that collect consumers’ sensitive financial information to comply with the Safeguards Rule’s process-based approach to protect that data. In addition, the Commission proposes to modify the Safeguards Rule to include more detailed requirements for the information security program required by the Rule. The Rule would continue to be process-based and flexible based on the financial institution’s size and complexity. The Commission does propose to exempt smaller institutions from certain requirements that require additional written product and might pose a greater burden on smaller entities. 2. Statement of Objectives and Legal Basis The objectives of the proposed Rule are discussed above. The legal basis for the proposed rule is section 501(b) of the GLBA. 3. Description of Small Entities to Which the Rule Will Apply Determining a precise estimate of the number of small entities 132—including 132 The U.S. Small Business Administration Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes (‘‘NAICS’’) are generally expressed in either millions of dollars or number of employees. A size standard is the largest that a business can be and still qualify as a small business for Federal Government programs. For the most part, size standards are the annual receipts or the average employment of a firm. Depending on the nature of the financial services an institution provides, the size standard varies. By way of example, mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers (NAICS code 522310) are classified as small if their annual receipts are $7.5 million or less. Consumer lending institutions (NAICS code 52291) are classified as small if their annual receipts are $38.5 million or less. Commercial banking and savings institutions (NAICS codes 522110 and 522120) are classified as small if their assets are $550 million or less. Assets PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 newly covered entities under the modified definition of financial institution—is not readily feasible. Financial institutions already covered by the existing Rule include lenders, financial advisors, loan brokers and servicers, collection agencies, financial advisors, tax preparers, and real estate settlement services, to the extent that they have ‘‘customer information’’ within the meaning of the Rule. If the proposed Rule is finalized, finders will also be covered. However, it is not known whether any finders are small entities, and if so, how many there are. The Commission requests comment and information on the number of ‘‘finders’’ that would be covered by the Rule’s modified definition of ‘‘financial institution,’’ and how many of those finders, if any, are small entities. 4. Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements The proposed Rule does not impose any reporting or any specific recordkeeping requirements within the meaning of the PRA, as discussed herein. With regard to other compliance requirements, the proposed addition of definitions and examples from the Privacy Rule is not expected to have an impact on covered financial institutions, including those that may be small entities, if any. (The preceding section of this analysis discusses classes of covered financial institutions that may qualify as small entities.) The proposed addition of ‘‘finders’’ to the definition of financial institutions will impose the obligations of the Rule on entities that engage in ‘‘finding’’ activity and also collect customer information. The proposed addition of more detailed requirements may require some financial institutions to perform additional risk assessments, monitoring, or to create additional safeguards as set forth in the proposed Rule. These obligations will require employees or third-party service providers with skills in information security, but the Commission believes that most financial institutions will have already complied with many parts of the proposed rule as part of their information security programs already required under the existing Rule. There may be additional related compliance costs (e.g., legal, new equipment or systems, modifications to policies or procedures), but in the absence of supporting data, are determined by averaging the assets reported on its four quarterly financial statements for the preceding year. The 2017 Table of Small Business Size Standards is available at https://www.sba.gov/ sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table_ 2017.pdf. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules the Commission is unable to provide a complete or specific cost estimate. The Commission invites comment on the costs of the amended Rule for small entities to comply and to newly covered financial institutions (finders) of establishing and operating an information security program for such entities, to the extent, if any, they are small entities. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 5. Identification of Duplicative, Overlapping, or Conflicting Federal Rules As mentioned above, the Commission is proposing to incorporate the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ and the accompanying examples from the Privacy Rule to the Safeguards Rule. This modification will have no substantive effect on the scope of the Rule or its enforcement. The change is designed only to increase the clarity of the Rule. The Commission believes that incorporating this definition will not cause any additional burden on covered entities. Separately, as also noted above, the Commission proposes to revise the definition of ‘‘financial institution’’ to cover finders. The Commission is requesting comment on the extent to which other federal standards involving privacy or security or information may duplicate and/or satisfy or possibly conflict with the Rule’s requirements for newly covered financial institutions. The Commission is also proposing amending the Rule to include more detailed requirements for the written information security plan required by the Rule. The Commission does not believe that the proposed amendments would conflict with any existing data security regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule.133 The Commission is requesting comment on the extent to which other federal standards involving privacy or security or information may duplicate and/or satisfy or possibly conflict with the proposed amendments to the Rule. 6. Discussion of Significant Alternatives The standards in the proposed Rule allow a small financial institution to develop an information security program that is appropriate to its size and complexity, the nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of any customer information at issue. The Commission is proposing to include certain design standards (e.g., a company must implement encryption, authentication, incident response) in the Rule, in addition to the performance 133 45 CFR part 160; 45 CFR part 164, subparts A and C. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 standards (reasonable security) that the Rule currently uses. As discussed, while these design standards may introduce some additional burden, the Commission believes that the additional burden will be minimal, as most information security programs under the Rule already meet most of these requirements. In addition, the proposed requirements are still designed to allow financial institutions flexibility in how and whether they should be implemented. For example, the requirement that encryption be used to protect customer information in transit and at rest may be met with effective alternative compensating controls if they are infeasible for a given financial institution. In addition, the Proposed Rule exempts financial institutions that maintain relatively small amounts of customer information from certain requirements of the amended Safeguards Rule. The exceptions would apply to financial institutions that maintain customer information concerning fewer than five thousand consumers. The Commission believes that exempted financial institutions will generally be small entities. Such financial institutions would not be required to perform a written risk assessment, conduct continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment, prepare a written incident response plan, or prepare an annual written report by the CISO. These proposed exemptions are intended to reduce the burden on smaller financial institutions. The Commission believes that the obligations subject to this exemption are the ones that are most likely to cause undue burden on smaller financial institutions. Exempted financial institutions will still need to conduct risk assessments, design and implement a written information security program with the required elements, utilize qualified information security personnel and train employee, monitor activity of authorized users, oversee service providers, and evaluate and adjust their information security program. These are core obligations under the Rule that any financial institution that collects customer information must meet, regardless of size. The Commission welcomes comment on any significant alternative consistent with the GLBA that would minimize the impact on small entities of these proposed amendments, including institutions that would be newly covered under the amended definition of ‘‘financial institution.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13173 List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 314 Consumer protection, Credit, Data protection, Privacy, Trade practices. For the reasons stated above, the Federal Trade Commission proposes to amend 16 CFR part 314 as follows: PART 314—STANDARDS FOR SAFEGUARDING CUSTOMER INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 314 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 15 U.S.C. 6801(b), 6805(b)(2). ■ 2. Revise § 314.1(b) to read as follows: § 314.1 Purpose and scope. * * * * * (b) Scope. This part applies to the handling of customer information by all financial institutions over which the Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) has jurisdiction. Namely, this part applies to those ‘‘financial institutions’’ over which the Commission has rulemaking authority pursuant to section 501(b) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. An entity is a ‘‘financial institution’’ if its business is engaging in an activity that is financial in nature or incidental to such financial activities as described in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k), which crossreferences activities enumerated by the Federal Reserve Board in 12 CFR 225.28 and 12 CFR 225.86. The ‘‘financial institutions’’ subject to the Commission’s enforcement authority are those that are not otherwise subject to the enforcement authority of another regulator under Section 505 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6805. More specifically, those entities include, but are not limited to, mortgage lenders, ‘‘pay day’’ lenders, finance companies, mortgage brokers, account servicers, check cashers, wire transferors, travel agencies operated in connection with financial services, collection agencies, credit counselors and other financial advisors, tax preparation firms, non-federally insured credit unions, investment advisors that are not required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and entities acting as finders. They are referred to in this part as ‘‘You.’’ This part applies to all customer information in your possession, regardless of whether such information pertains to individuals with whom you have a customer relationship, or pertains to the customers of other financial institutions that have provided such information to you. ■ 3. Revise § 314.2 to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 13174 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS § 314.2 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules Definitions. (a) In general. Except as modified by this part or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms used in this part have the same meaning as set forth in the Commission’s rule governing the Privacy of Consumer Financial Information, 16 CFR part 313. (b) Authorized user means any employee, contractor, agent, or other person that participates in your business operations and is authorized to access and use any of your information systems and data. (c) Security event means an event resulting in unauthorized access to, or disruption or misuse of, an information system or information stored on such information system. (d) Customer information means any record containing nonpublic personal information, as defined in 16 CFR 313.3(n), about a customer of a financial institution, whether in paper, electronic, or other form, that is handled or maintained by or on behalf of you or your affiliates. (e) Encryption means the transformation of data into a form that results in a low probability of assigning meaning without the use of a protective process or key. (f)(1) Financial institution means any institution the business of which is engaging in an activity that is financial in nature or incidental to such financial activities as described in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k). An institution that is significantly engaged in financial activities, or significantly engaged in activities incidental to such financial activities, is a financial institution. (2) Examples of financial institutions. (i) A retailer that extends credit by issuing its own credit card directly to consumers is a financial institution because extending credit is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(1) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F), and issuing that extension of credit through a proprietary credit card demonstrates that a retailer is significantly engaged in extending credit. (ii) An automobile dealership that, as a usual part of its business, leases automobiles on a nonoperating basis for longer than 90 days is a financial institution with respect to its leasing business because leasing personal property on a nonoperating basis where the initial term of the lease is at least 90 days is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(3) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 (iii) A personal property or real estate appraiser is a financial institution because real and personal property appraisal is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(2)(i) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). (iv) A career counselor that specializes in providing career counseling services to individuals currently employed by or recently displaced from a financial organization, individuals who are seeking employment with a financial organization, or individuals who are currently employed by or seeking placement with the finance, accounting or audit departments of any company is a financial institution because such career counseling activities are financial activities listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(9)(iii) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). (v) A business that prints and sells checks for consumers, either as its sole business or as one of its product lines, is a financial institution because printing and selling checks is a financial activity that is listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(10)(ii) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). (vi) A business that regularly wires money to and from consumers is a financial institution because transferring money is a financial activity referenced in section 4(k)(4)(A) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(A), and regularly providing that service demonstrates that the business is significantly engaged in that activity. (vii) A check cashing business is a financial institution because cashing a check is exchanging money, which is a financial activity listed in section 4(k)(4)(A) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(A). (viii) An accountant or other tax preparation service that is in the business of completing income tax returns is a financial institution because tax preparation services is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(6)(vi) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(G) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(G). (ix) A business that operates a travel agency in connection with financial services is a financial institution because operating a travel agency in connection with financial services is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.86(b)(2) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(G) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(G). (x) An entity that provides real estate settlement services is a financial PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 institution because providing real estate settlement services is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(2)(viii) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). (xi) A mortgage broker is a financial institution because brokering loans is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(1) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F). (xii) An investment advisory company and a credit counseling service are each financial institutions because providing financial and investment advisory services are financial activities referenced in section 4(k)(4)(C) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(C). (xiii) A company acting as a finder in bringing together one or more buyers and sellers of any product or service for transactions that the parties themselves negotiate and consummate is a financial institution because acting as a finder is an activity that is financial in nature or incidental to a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1). (3) Financial institution does not include: (i) Any person or entity with respect to any financial activity that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); (ii) The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation or any entity chartered and operating under the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (12 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.); (iii) Institutions chartered by Congress specifically to engage in securitizations, secondary market sales (including sales of servicing rights) or similar transactions related to a transaction of a consumer, as long as such institutions do not sell or transfer nonpublic personal information to a nonaffiliated third party other than as permitted by sections 313.14 and 313.15; or (iv) Entities that engage in financial activities but that are not significantly engaged in those financial activities, and entities that engage in activities incidental to financial activities but that are not significantly engaged in activities incidental to financial activities. (4) Examples of entities that are not significantly engaged in financial activities. (i) A retailer is not a financial institution if its only means of extending credit are occasional ‘‘lay away’’ and deferred payment plans or accepting payment by means of credit cards issued by others. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules (ii) A retailer is not a financial institution merely because it accepts payment in the form of cash, checks, or credit cards that it did not issue. (iii) A merchant is not a financial institution merely because it allows an individual to ‘‘run a tab.’’ (iv) A grocery store is not a financial institution merely because it allows individuals to whom it sells groceries to cash a check, or write a check for a higher amount than the grocery purchase and obtain cash in return. (g) Information security program means the administrative, technical, or physical safeguards you use to access, collect, distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle customer information. (h) Information system means a discrete set of electronic information resources organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination or disposition of electronic information, as well as any specialized system such as industrial/ process controls systems, telephone switching and private branch exchange systems, and environmental controls systems. (i) Multi-factor authentication means authentication through verification of at least two of the following types of authentication factors: (1) Knowledge factors, such as a password; (2) Possession factors, such as a token; or (3) Inherence factors, such as biometric characteristics. (j) Penetration testing means a test methodology in which assessors attempt to circumvent or defeat the security features of an information system by attempting penetration of databases or controls from outside or inside your information systems. (k) Service provider means any person or entity that receives, maintains, processes, or otherwise is permitted access to customer information through its provision of services directly to a financial institution that is subject to this part. ■ 4. Revise § 314.3(a) as follows: jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS § 314.3 Standards for safeguarding customer information. (a) Information security program. You shall develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program that is written in one or more readily accessible parts and contains administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that are appropriate to your size and complexity, the nature and scope of your activities, and the sensitivity of any customer information at issue. The information security VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 program shall include the elements set forth in section 314.4 and shall be reasonably designed to achieve the objectives of this part, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. * * * * * ■ 5. Revise § 314.4 as follows: § 314.4 Elements. In order to develop, implement, and maintain your information security program, you shall: (a) Designate a qualified individual responsible for overseeing and implementing your information security program and enforcing your information security program (for purposes of this part, ‘‘Chief Information Security Officer’’ or ‘‘CISO’’). The CISO may be employed by you, an affiliate, or a service provider. To the extent this requirement is met using a service provider or an affiliate, you shall: (1) Retain responsibility for compliance with this part; (2) Designate a senior member of your personnel responsible for direction and oversight of the CISO; and (3) Require the service provider or affiliate to maintain an information security program that protects you in accordance with the requirements of this Part. (b) Base your information security program on a risk assessment that identifies reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction or other compromise of such information, and assesses the sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks. (1) The risk assessment shall be written and shall include: (i) Criteria for the evaluation and categorization of identified security risks or threats you face; (ii) Criteria for the assessment of the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your information systems and customer information, including the adequacy of the existing controls in the context of the identified risks or threats you face; and (iii) Requirements describing how identified risks will be mitigated or accepted based on the risk assessment and how the information security program will address the risks. (2) You shall periodically perform additional risk assessments that reexamine the reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13175 alteration, destruction or other compromise of such information, and reassess the sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks. (c) Design and implement safeguards to control the risks you identity through risk assessment, including: (1) Place access controls on information systems, including controls to authenticate and permit access only to authorized individuals to protect against the unauthorized acquisition of customer information and to periodically review such access controls; (2) Identify and manage the data, personnel, devices, systems, and facilities that enable you to achieve business purposes in accordance with their relative importance to business objectives and your risk strategy; (3) Restrict access at physical locations containing customer information only to authorized individuals; (4) Protect by encryption all customer information held or transmitted by you both in transit over external networks and at rest. To the extent you determine that encryption of customer information, either in transit over external networks or at rest, is infeasible, you may instead secure such customer information using effective alternative compensating controls reviewed and approved by your CISO; (5) Adopt secure development practices for in-house developed applications utilized by you for transmitting, accessing, or storing customer information and procedures for evaluating, assessing, or testing the security of externally developed applications you utilize to transmit, access, or store customer information; (6) Implement multi-factor authentication for any individual accessing customer information. Multifactor authentication shall be utilized for any individual accessing your internal networks that contain customer information, unless your CISO has approved in writing the use of reasonably equivalent or more secure access controls; (7) Include audit trails within the information security program designed to detect and respond to security events; (8) Develop, implement, and maintain procedures for the secure disposal of customer information in any format that is no longer necessary for business operations or for other legitimate business purposes, except where such information is otherwise required to be retained by law or regulation, or where targeted disposal is not reasonably E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 13176 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules feasible due to the manner in which the information is maintained; (9) Adopt procedures for change management; and (10) Implement policies, procedures and controls designed to monitor the activity of authorized users and detect unauthorized access or use of, or tampering with, customer information by such users. (d)(1) Regularly test or otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the safeguards’ key controls, systems, and procedures, including those to detect actual and attempted attacks on, or intrusions into, information systems. (2) The monitoring and testing shall include continuous monitoring or periodic penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. Absent effective continuous monitoring or other systems to detect, on an ongoing basis, changes in information systems that may create vulnerabilities, you shall conduct: (i) Annual penetration testing of your information systems determined each given year based on relevant identified risks in accordance with the risk assessment; and (ii) Biannual vulnerability assessments, including any systemic scans or reviews of information systems reasonably designed to identify publicly known security vulnerabilities in your information systems based on the risk assessment. (e) Implement policies and procedures to ensure that personnel are able to enact your information security program by: (1) Providing your personnel with security awareness training that is updated to reflect risks identified by the risk assessment; (2) Utilizing qualified information security personnel employed by you or an affiliate or service provider sufficient to manage your information security risks and to perform or oversee the information security program; (3) Providing information security personnel with security updates and training sufficient to address relevant security risks; and (4) Verifying that key information security personnel take steps to maintain current knowledge of changing information security threats and countermeasures. (f) Oversee service providers, by: (1) Taking reasonable steps to select and retain service providers that are capable of maintaining appropriate safeguards for the customer information at issue; (2) Requiring your service providers by contract to implement and maintain such safeguards; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 (3) Periodically assessing your service providers based on the risk they present and the continued adequacy of their safeguards. (g) Evaluate and adjust your information security program in light of the results of the testing and monitoring required by paragraph (d) of this section; any material changes to your operations or business arrangements; the results of risk assessments performed under paragraph (b)(2) of this section; or any other circumstances that you know or have reason to know may have a material impact on your information security program; (h) Establish a written incident response plan designed to promptly respond to, and recover from, any security event materially affecting the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of customer information in your possession. Such incident response plan shall address the following areas: (1) The goals of the incident response plan; (2) The internal processes for responding to a security event; (3) The definition of clear roles, responsibilities and levels of decisionmaking authority; (4) External and internal communications and information sharing; (5) Identification of requirements for the remediation of any identified weaknesses in information systems and associated controls; (6) Documentation and reporting regarding security events and related incident response activities; and (7) The evaluation and revision as necessary of the incident response plan following a security event. (i) Require your CISO to report in writing, at least annually, to your board of directors or equivalent governing body. If no such board of directors or equivalent governing body exists, such report shall be timely presented to a senior officer responsible for your information security program. The report shall include the following information: (1) The overall status of the information security program and your compliance with this Rule; and (2) Material matters related to the information security program, addressing issues such as risk assessment, risk management and control decisions, service provider arrangements, results of testing, security events or violations and management’s responses thereto, and recommendations for changes in the information security program. ■ 6. Revise § 314.5 to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 314.5 Effective date. Sections 314.4(a), 314.4(b)(1), 314.4(c)(1)–(10), 314.4(d)(2), 314.4(e), 314.4(f)(3), 314.4(h), and 314.4(i) are effective as of [six months after publication of the final rule]. ■ 7. Add § 314.6, to read as follows: § 314.6 Exceptions. Sections 314.4(b)(1), 314.4(d)(2), 314.4(h), and 314.4(i) do not apply to financial institutions that maintain customer information concerning fewer than five thousand consumers. By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Phillips and Commissioner Wilson dissenting. April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary. [Note: The following Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips and Commissioner Christine S. Wilson will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.] Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips and Commissioner Christine S. Wilson March 5, 2019 Today the Commission seeks public comment on a notice of proposed rulemaking (‘‘NPRM’’) to change the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (‘‘Safeguards Rule’’ or ‘‘Rule’’) under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (‘‘GLBA’’). Recent high-profile data breaches underscore the importance of effective data security, which is why we strongly support the Commission’s renewed calls for federal data security legislation.1 We also share this Administration’s goal of reducing regulation and controlling compliance costs. Any new regulation, even regarding a critical issue like data security, must be handled with care to avoid stifling innovation or entrenching incumbents. Congress mandated data security and privacy for financial institutions in the GLBA and, for the past two decades, it has been the Commission’s responsibility to set forth the regulations implementing those requirements. The Rule as written provides direction to financial institutions on how to protect data security—importantly, while not being overly prescriptive—in an area where standards continuously evolve. The current proposal, however, trades flexibility for a more prescriptive approach, potentially 1 See Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security of the S. Comm. on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 115th Cong. 7 (2018) (statement of the Federal Trade Commission) (‘‘The Commission continues to reiterate its longstanding bipartisan call for comprehensive data security legislation.’’); Federal Trade Commission Staff, Comment to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy (Nov. 9, 2018), https://www.ftc.gov/policy/ advocacy/advocacy-filings/2018/11/ftc-staffcomment-ntia-developing-administrationsapproach. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 65 / Thursday, April 4, 2019 / Proposed Rules handicapping smaller players or newer entrants.2 As part of our regular process of regulatory review, the Commission first sought comments on updating the Safeguards Rule in September 2016.3 When asked about the need for more specific requirements, commenters generally asked to leave the Rule in place, and to avoid more prescriptive regulation. Privacy advocates and an association owned by the largest commercial banks sought more detailed requirements.4 Based on that record, and the adoption of several new state laws and regulations regarding data security of financial institutions, the Commission today proposes the latter course. This approach concerns us for several reasons. First, some of the specific proposals track shortcomings the Commission has identified in its data security enforcement cases and investigations. Not all of these shortcomings concern firms covered by the Safeguards Rule and, in any event, they may not represent a broader trend that warrants a regulatory response. Therefore, it may not be appropriate to mandate such prescriptive standards for all market participants. To the extent that the Commission thinks it is appropriate to elucidate the regulation’s reasonable care requirements, we have tools at our disposal—including speeches, testimony, analyses to aid public comment, information about the factors the Commission considered when closing investigations, and reports. Commentary like this can help financial institutions weigh whether precautions are reasonable based on the risks associated with how they use, collect, and store data, without imposing a one-size-fits-all approach. The question to be answered here is whether the existing Safeguards Rule, which addresses the protection of financial information, is inadequate to that purpose. Also important is the question of how firms governed by the Rule operate relative to ones in sectors that are not so governed. Second, the proposed regulations may be premature for two reasons. They are based in substantial part on regulations promulgated two years ago by the New York State jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 2 See, e.g., William A. Brock & David S. Evans, The Economics of Regulatory Tiering, 16 Rand J. Econ. 398, 399 (1985) (‘‘[I]mposing uniform regulatory requirements across all types of businesses has a disparate impact on smaller businesses because there are scale economies in regulatory compliance. Scale economies may arise because there are fixed costs of complying with regulations. Larger businesses can average these fixed costs over a larger quantity of output and thereby achieve a competitive advantage over their smaller rivals. [¶ ] There is evidence that scale economies in compliance are quite extensive for some regulatory requirements.’’) (citations omitted). 3 Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, 81 FR 61632 (Sept. 7, 2016) (to be codified at 16 CFR part 314). Comments are posted at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/ 2016/10/initiative-674. The Commission has assigned each comment a number. 4 Electronic Privacy Information Center, Comment Letter #30 on the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Nov. 7, 2016); The Clearing House Association LLC, Comment Letter #35 on the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Nov. 21, 2016). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Apr 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 13177 Department of Financial Services.5 We do not have data about the impact and efficacy of those regulations, so whether to adopt a version of them at the federal level and whether that version should be a floor for or should preempt state-level rules seem like questions worthy of more study. Right now, Congress and the Executive Branch, including the leadership of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over financial institutions, are discussing potential privacy and data security legislation. The NPRM seeks comment on issues that are implicated in this debate, as well as issues not addressed in the New York rule, like data minimization/elimination and requiring a legitimate business justification for collecting data in the first instance. These topics in particular take us into a broader debate that belongs—and is being had—in Congress.5 6 Third, the Safeguards Rule today is a flexible approach, appropriate to a company’s size and complexity. This proposal would move us away from that approach. There are direct costs for enhanced precautions, but this record does not demonstrate that those costs will significantly reduce data security risks or significantly increase consumer benefits. The expansion of the Rule could create traps for the unwary, especially small and innovative businesses. Further, large incumbents can often absorb regulatory compliance costs more effectively than new entrants or smaller players, potentially decreasing competition. The proposed precautions, either individually or in the aggregate, may constitute best practices for certain firms. But the proliferation of procedural, technical, and governance requirements may have the unintended consequence of diluting core data security measures undertaken pursuant to the existing Safeguards Rule. Finally, the NPRM proposes that the Commission substitute its own judgment for a private firm’s governance decisions, including but not limited to the appropriate level of board engagement, hiring and training requirements, and program accountability structures. Data security is important, without doubt. In our enforcement and legislative advocacy, we focus a great deal on it. But take, for example, board engagement on data security. Whether and to what extent it should command the regular attention and personal liability of a company’s board is precisely the kind of question firms are in a better position to evaluate than federal regulators. Other matters may be more important, including to the nation at large. A decade ago, our economy was brought low by what many view as improper risk assessment by financial institutions of their assets and liabilities. Maybe we want boards of financial institutions to spend more time assessing those risks. The point isn’t that the answer is easy—the point is that we may not be the best qualified to supply it. This is an NPRM, and the Commission is merely proposing new regulation and soliciting views on its impact. But we are also aware that the momentum behind an NPRM regularly results in the promulgation of new or revised rules. While the Commission is not making a final determination today, we are concerned that the specific suggestions herein will frame the debate so as to take the Commission in a direction that may be unwarranted (particularly given the prospect of legislation), and which may have negative repercussions. A review of the Safeguards Rule, especially in light of new legal developments, is warranted. But we should go where the evidence today leads us. We would strongly encourage those in industry, academia, and civil society with expertise in these areas to comment and provide evidence on this proposal. For these reasons, we dissent. 5 Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies, 23 NYCRR 500, et seq. (2016). 6 Press Release, S. Comm. on Banking Housing, and Urban Affairs, Crapo, Brown Invite Feedback on Data Privacy, Protection and Collection (Feb 13, 2019), https://www.banking.senate.gov/newsroom/ majority/crapo-brown-invite-feedback-on-dataprivacy-protection-and-collection. 7 See Brock and Evans, supra note 2. 8 Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (proposed Mar. 5, 2019) (16 CFR part 314.4(i)) (requiring that Chief Information Security Officer (‘‘CISO’’) report in writing, at least annually, to board of directors or equivalent about the overall status and material matters related to the information security program based on the assumption that ‘‘such reports will not be overly burdensome [because] . . . required information can be gathered throughout the year as part of managing the information security program and satisfying the other requirements of the proposed amendments.’’) (quoting proposed NPRM). 9 Id. at 314.4(e) (requiring the hiring of qualified and sufficient personnel, continuous training for key personnel, and verification of training). 10 Id. at 314.4(a)(1) (prohibiting companies from designating more than one employee to coordinate information security programs and instead requiring the designation of ‘‘a single qualified individual’’ (CISO)); Id. at 314.4(a)(2) (requiring oversight of CISO by appropriate senior member of personnel); Id. at 314.4(h) (requiring a written incident response plan). [FR Doc. 2019–04981 Filed 4–3–19; 8:45 am] PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 5, 14, 75, 91, 92, 93, 135, 266, 570, 576, 578, 905, 964, 983, and 1000 [Docket No. FR–6085–P–01] RIN 2501–AD87 Enhancing and Streamlining the Implementation of ‘‘Section 3’’ Requirements for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very LowIncome Persons and Eligible Businesses Office of the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Field Policy and Management, HUD. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 65 (Thursday, April 4, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13158-13177]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-04981]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 314

RIN 3084-AB35


Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') 
requests public comment on its proposal to amend the Standards for 
Safeguarding Customer Information (``Safeguards Rule'' or ``Rule''). 
The proposal contains five main modifications to the existing Rule. 
First, it adds provisions designed to provide covered financial 
institutions with more guidance on how to develop and implement 
specific aspects of an overall information security program. Second, it 
adds provisions designed to improve the accountability of financial 
institutions' information security programs. Third, it exempts small 
businesses from certain requirements. Fourth, it expands the definition 
of ``financial institution'' to include entities engaged in activities 
that the Federal Reserve Board determines to be incidental to financial 
activities. Finally, the Commission proposes to include the definition 
of ``financial institution'' and related examples in the Rule itself 
rather than cross-reference them from a related FTC rule, the Privacy 
of Consumer Financial Information Rule.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 3, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by 
following the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section below. Write ``Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR part 314, Project No. 
P145407,'' on your comment and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to 
the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), 
Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 
20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Lincicum or Allison M. Lefrak, 
Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer 
Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2773 or (202) 326-2804.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Gramm Leach Bliley Act (``GLB'' or ``GLBA'') was enacted in 
1999.\1\ The GLBA provides a framework for regulating the privacy and 
data security practices of a broad range of financial institutions. 
Among other things, the GLBA requires financial institutions to provide 
customers with information about the institutions' privacy practices 
and about their opt-out rights, and to implement security safeguards 
for customer information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338 (1999).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Subtitle A of Title V of the GLBA required the Commission and other 
federal agencies to establish standards for financial institutions 
relating to administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for 
certain information.\2\ Pursuant to the Act's directive, the Commission 
promulgated the Safeguards Rule in 2002. The Safeguards Rule became 
effective on May 23, 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See 15 U.S.C. 6801(b), 6805(b)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Safeguards Rule requires a financial institution to develop, 
implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program 
that consists of the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards 
the financial institution uses to access, collect, distribute, process, 
protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle customer 
information.\3\ The information security program must be written in one 
or more

[[Page 13159]]

readily accessible parts.\4\ The safeguards set forth in the program 
must be appropriate to the size and complexity of the financial 
institution, the nature and scope of its activities, and the 
sensitivity of any customer information at issue.\5\ The safeguards 
must also be reasonably designed to ensure the security and 
confidentiality of customer information, protect against any 
anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of the 
information, and protect against unauthorized access to or use of such 
information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to 
any customer.\6\
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    \3\ 16 CFR 314.2(c).
    \4\ 16 CFR 314.3(a).
    \5\ 16 CFR 314.3(a), (b).
    \6\ 16 CFR 314.3(a), (b).
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    In order to develop, implement, and maintain its information 
security program, a financial institution must identify reasonably 
foreseeable internal and external risks to the security, 
confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that could 
result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction, 
or other compromise of such information, including in the areas of: 1. 
Employee training and management; 2. information systems, including 
network and software design, as well as information processing, 
storage, transmission, and disposal; and 3. detecting, preventing, and 
responding to attacks, intrusions, or other systems failures.\7\ The 
financial institution must then design and implement safeguards to 
control the risks identified through the risk assessment, and must 
regularly test or otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the 
safeguards' key controls, systems, and procedures.\8\ The financial 
institution is also required to evaluate and adjust its information 
security program in light of the results of this testing and 
monitoring, as well as any material changes in its operations or 
business arrangements, or any other circumstances that it knows or has 
reason to know may have a material impact on its information security 
program.\9\ The financial institution must also designate an employee 
or employees to coordinate the information security program.\10\
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    \7\ 16 CFR 314.4(b).
    \8\ 16 CFR 314.4(c).
    \9\ 16 CFR 314.4(e).
    \10\ 16 CFR 314.4(a).
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    Finally, the Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions to 
take reasonable steps to select and retain service providers that are 
capable of maintaining appropriate safeguards for customer information 
and require those service providers by contract to implement and 
maintain such safeguards.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ 16 CFR 314.4(d).
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    When the Commission issued the Rule in 2002, it opted to provide 
general requirements and guidance for the required information security 
program, without providing detailed descriptions of what the 
information security program should contain.\12\ It took this approach 
in order to provide financial institutions with the flexibility to 
shape the information security programs to their particular business 
and to allow the programs to adapt to changes in technology and threats 
to the security and integrity of customer information.\13\ While the 
Commission believes the proposed amendments continue to provide 
companies with flexibility, they also attempt to provide more detailed 
guidance as to what an appropriate information security program 
entails.
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    \12\ See Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, Final 
Rule, 67 FR 36484 (May 23, 2002).
    \13\ Id.
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II. Regulatory Review of the Safeguards Rule

    On August 29, 2016, the Commission solicited comments on the 
Safeguards Rule as part of its periodic review of its rules and 
guides.\14\ The Commission sought comment on a number of general 
issues, including the economic impact and benefits of the Rule; 
possible conflicts between the Rule and state, local, or other federal 
laws or regulations; and the effect on the Rule of any technological, 
economic, or other industry changes. The Commission received 28 
comments from individuals and entities representing a wide range of 
viewpoints.\15\ Most commenters agreed that there is a continuing need 
for the Rule and that it benefits consumers and competition.\16\ The 
Commission also generally asked commenters to weigh in on: 1. Whether 
the Commission should add more specific requirements for information 
security programs to the Rule; 2. whether the Rule should require the 
inclusion of an incident response plan; 3. whether the Rule should 
reference or incorporate any other information security standards or 
framework, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology's 
Cybersecurity Framework or the Payment Card Industry Data Security 
Standard; 4. whether the Rule should contain its own definition of 
``financial institution'' rather than cross-reference the definition 
set forth in the Privacy Rule; and 5. whether the definition of 
``financial institution'' should be expanded.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Safeguards Rule, Request for Comment, 81 FR 61632 (Sept. 7, 
2016).
    \15\ The comments are posted at: https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-674. The Commission has assigned each 
comment a number appearing after the name of the commenter and the 
date of submission. This notice cites comments using the last name 
of the individual submitter or the name of the organization, 
followed by the number assigned by the Commission.
    \16\ See, e.g., Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39); 
National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40); Data & 
Marketing Association (Comment #38); Electronic Transactions 
Association (Comment #24); State Privacy & Security Coalition 
(Comment #26).
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1. Whether the Safeguards Rule Should Include More Specific 
Requirements for Information Security Programs

    Several commenters urged the Commission not to add more specific 
and prescriptive requirements for information security programs.\17\ 
These commenters stated that financial institutions are familiar with 
the Rule in its current form and have established practices and 
policies in reliance on it; \18\ that preserving the Rule's flexible 
guidelines for information security plans enables financial 
institutions to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing cybersecurity 
landscape; \19\ and that additional prescriptive requirements for 
information security plans would negatively impact innovation.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ See, e.g., American Financial Services Association (Comment 
#42); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment 
#25); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26); EDUCAUSE 
(Comment #17); Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39).
    \18\ National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40).
    \19\ See, e.g., American Financial Services Association (Comment 
#42); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment 
#25); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26); EDUCAUSE 
(Comment #17); Mortgage Bankers Association (Comment #39).
    \20\ See, e.g., Data & Marketing Association (Comment #38); 
Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some commenters asserted that a more prescriptive regulatory 
approach for information security programs in the Rule would not 
necessarily make institutions more secure and cautioned that regulation 
that adopts a checklist approach to information security plans risks 
creating complacency among companies.\21\ A few commenters proposed 
that rather than amending the Rule to add more specific and 
prescriptive requirements for information security plans, the 
Commission should promote self-regulation as an appropriate tool to

[[Page 13160]]

effectively promote information security.\22\
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    \21\ See e.g., Software & Information Industry Association 
(Comment #23); Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24).
    \22\ Data & Marketing Association (Comment #38); Electronic 
Transactions Association (Comment #24); State Privacy & Security 
Coalition (Comment #26).
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    On the other hand, some commenters recommended that the FTC 
strengthen the Rule by including more detailed security 
requirements.\23\ The Clearing House Association LLC (``The Clearing 
House''), a banking association and payments company that is owned by 
the largest commercial banks, argued that the Rule's requirements, at 
least with respect to large financial technology (``Fintech'') 
companies, should be more akin to the rules applicable to banks under 
the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (``FFIEC'') 
Interagency Guidelines. Among other things, these guidelines specify 
elements that financial institutions should include in a risk 
assessment; areas a financial institution must consider--such as access 
controls, encryption, and incident response--in developing security 
controls; and provisions that financial institutions must include in 
contracts with service providers. The Electronic Privacy Information 
Center (``EPIC'') recommended that certain practices set forth in the 
FTC's Safeguards Rule Guidance, such as employee background checks, 
authentication requirements, and encryption, should be mandatory.\24\
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    \23\ The Clearing House Association LLC (Comment #35); 
Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30).
    \24\ Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30), citing 
Financial Institutions and Customer Information: Complying with the 
Safeguards Rule, FED. TRADE COMM'N (Apr. 2006), https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/financial-institutions-customer-information-complying [hereinafter ``Safeguards Rule 
Guidance'']. EPIC also urged the Commission to apply the Rule to all 
types of businesses, not just financial institutions, but the GLBA 
provides statutory authority only for requirements applicable to 
financial institutions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered these comments, the Commission proposes to amend 
the Rule to include more specific security requirements. While the 
Commission agrees with those commenters that argued that the 
flexibility of the current Safeguards Rule is a strength that allows 
the Rule to adapt to changing technology and threats, the Commission 
believes that more specific requirements will benefit financial 
institutions by providing them more guidance and certainty in 
developing their information security programs, while largely 
preserving that flexibility. The Commission agrees that a checklist 
approach is not appropriate, which is why the proposed amendments 
retain the existing Rule's process-based approach, allowing companies 
to tailor their programs to their size and to the sensitivity and 
amount of customer information they collect. As to the commenters that 
stated that the current Rule works well and that companies have already 
developed compliance programs under it, the Commission does not believe 
the proposed new requirements would require an overhaul of existing 
compliance programs. Because the new requirements build on existing 
requirements, they will help companies benchmark and improve their 
current compliance programs, rather than having to start from scratch. 
Finally, the Commission recognizes that some of the financial 
institutions to which the Safeguards Rule applies--such as tax 
preparers or mortgage brokers--may be very small businesses with few 
customers. Accordingly, the proposed amendment would exempt smaller 
financial institutions from certain requirements of the amended Rule.
    The Commission also agrees that very specific requirements for 
information security programs could become outdated and require 
frequent amendments. Accordingly, the proposed amendments provide more 
detailed requirements as to the issues and threats that must be 
addressed by the information security program, but do not require 
specific solutions to those problems. Instead, the proposed amendments 
retain the process-based approach of the Rule, while providing a more 
detailed map of what information security plans must address. As 
discussed in detail below, information security programs under the 
proposed amendments would still be based on risk assessments performed 
by the covered financial institutions and would be developed to address 
the specific risks and needs of the financial institution. The 
Commission continues to believe that a flexible, non-prescriptive Rule 
enables covered organizations to use it to respond to the changing 
landscape of security threats, to allow for innovation in security 
practices, and to accommodate technological changes and advances. The 
proposed amendments are designed to preserve that flexibility while 
doing more to ensure that financial institutions develop information 
security plans that are appropriate, reasonable, and designed to 
protect customer information.\25\ Although the Commission believes the 
proposed approach is sufficiently flexible, it seeks comment on whether 
the approach creates unintended consequences for businesses, may be 
more stringent than necessary to achieve the objective, and/or 
unnecessarily modifies language without creating a material benefit to 
security.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ The Commission agrees with the Electronic Transactions 
Association (Comment #24) about the importance of self-regulation in 
this area and continues to work with industry groups to promote 
industry-specific guidance and training on security.
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2. Whether the Rule Should Require the Inclusion of an Incident 
Response Plan

    The Commission sought comment on whether the Rule should require an 
incident response plan. Several commenters were opposed to adding such 
a requirement. Some of these commenters noted that states already 
require companies to notify consumers of a breach and that companies 
effectively must have some sort of incident response plan in place to 
meet this requirement, so there would be no need to add this 
requirement to the Rule.\26\ Some commenters argued that such a 
requirement would be burdensome for many businesses.\27\ Others stated 
that there is no need to add such a requirement because, for many 
financial institutions, in order to satisfy the Rule's current 
requirement to have a reasonable information security program, a 
financial institution would necessarily be required to have an incident 
response plan.\28\ On the other hand, The Clearing House noted that an 
incident response program is ``a crucial element of data security 
hygiene in the increasingly dangerous threat environment'' and urged 
that the Commission impose this requirement on FTC-regulated financial 
institutions, especially since this is already a requirement for banks 
under the FFIEC Interagency Guidelines.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ See, e.g., Securities Industry and Financial Markets 
Association (Comment #25); National Automobile Dealers Association 
(Comment #40).
    \27\ See, e.g., National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment 
#40); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment 
#25);
    \28\ See, e.g., Consumer Data Industry Association (Comment 
#36); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17); MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14).
    \29\ The Clearing House (Comment #35).
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    The Commission agrees that the current Rule already requires many 
financial institutions to develop an incident response plan as part of 
their information security program. However, the Commission believes 
there is value to making such a requirement explicit. Accordingly, the 
Commission proposes an amendment to the Rule to require covered 
financial institutions to develop an incident response plan as part of 
their information security program, as described in greater detail 
below. The

[[Page 13161]]

Commission does not agree that a process-based requirement that 
financial institutions plan for an incident encourages a ``check the 
box'' approach. Nor does the Commission agree that such an obligation 
is generally burdensome, particularly for businesses operating 
nationwide, given that many institutions already must develop a 
response plan to comply with state law.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See e.g., n.26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed amendment lists several general areas that the plan 
would need to address, as discussed in greater detail below. The 
Commission seeks comment about the potential costs and benefits of this 
proposal. In particular, the Commission is interested in any data, 
research or case studies that the Commission could use to analyze what 
commenters advocate. The proposed amendment is designed to ensure that 
covered financial institutions are prepared in the event of a 
cybersecurity event, while still giving them ample flexibility to adapt 
the plan to the needs and resources of their business.

3. Whether the Safeguards Rule should reference or incorporate any 
other information security standards or framework, such as the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology's Cybersecurity Framework or the 
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

    The Commission sought comment on whether the Rule should reference 
or incorporate any other information security standards or frameworks, 
such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (``NIST'') 
Cybersecurity Framework (the ``Framework'') or the Payment Card 
Industry Data Security Standard (``PCIDSS'').
    The majority of commenters advocated against referring to or 
incorporating any other information security standard or framework, 
such as the NIST Framework or PCIDSS, into the Rule.\31\ Some 
commenters argued that the FTC should not adopt the NIST Framework as a 
binding set of obligations because it would lead to a ``check the box'' 
security mandate, and would add a layer of complexity to an already 
complex regulatory environment where institutions have to comply with 
numerous preexisting federal and state requirements.\32\ The Electronic 
Transactions Association (``ETA'') argued that the Framework is ``not 
designed to replace an organization's cybersecurity risk management'' 
and that it is not intended to be a standard or checklist.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ See, e.g., U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Center for Capital 
Markets Competitiveness (Comment #22); Retail Industry Leaders 
Association (Comment #18); Electronic Transactions Association 
(Comment #24); EDUCAUSE (Comment #17).
    \32\ EDUCAUSE (Comment #17).
    \33\ Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24).
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    A few commenters wrote in support of incorporating a reference to 
the NIST Framework in the Rule, while not requiring compliance with the 
Framework.\34\ For example, the Financial Services Roundtable/BITS 
(``FSR/BITS'') argued that incorporating the NIST Framework in the Rule 
as an informative reference would help to address ``the growing thicket 
of cybersecurity compliance obligations that are spreading across the 
financial services sector.'' \35\ FSR/BITS recommended further that the 
Commission modify the Rule so that financial institutions that use the 
NIST Framework would be found in de facto compliance with the Rule.\36\
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    \34\ See, e.g., Financial Services Roundtable/BITS (Comment 
#21); Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23).
    \35\ Financial Services Roundtable/BITS (Comment #21).
    \36\ Id.
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    With respect to the PCIDSS, numerous commenters opposed the Rule's 
reference or incorporation of PCIDSS.\37\ Commenters argued such an 
amendment has the possibility of undermining the Rule's flexibility by 
imposing a ``one-size-fits-all'' approach.\38\ MasterCard Worldwide, a 
co-founder and developer of PCIDSS, opposed this amendment to the Rule, 
highlighting that the PCIDSS was created by major card networks for 
participants in the card industry.\39\ Whereas the PCIDSS may be 
appropriate for payment card issuers and acquirers, MasterCard argued, 
it would not necessarily apply well to other financial 
institutions.\40\ Other comments agreed that incorporating PCIDSS would 
be inappropriate.\41\ No commenters wrote in support of referencing or 
incorporating the PCIDSS into the Rule. Having considered these 
comments, the Commission declines to propose changing the Rule to 
incorporate or reference a particular security standard or framework. 
As noted above, for a variety of reasons, including questions about the 
applicability of the particular standards at issue to all financial 
institutions, the majority of commenters opposed referencing or 
incorporating any specific information security standard or framework 
into the Rule. Mandating that companies follow a particular security 
standard or framework would reduce the flexibility built into the 
current Rule. This proposal does not amend the Rule to allow compliance 
with such standards to serve as a safe harbor against Commission 
enforcement, as some commenters sought. The Commission seeks additional 
comment on how such a program could remain up to date and respond 
rapidly to changes in the security environment, and the workability of 
monitoring changing standards and adapting a safe harbor rule as 
needed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ See, e.g., Electronic Transactions Association (Comment 
#24); MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14); Retail Industry Leaders 
Association (Comment #18).
    \38\ Electronic Transactions Association (Comment #24); EDUCAUSE 
(Comment #17).
    \39\ MasterCard Worldwide (Comment #14).
    \40\ Id.
    \41\ See Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association 
(Comment #25) (arguing that there is insufficient overlap between 
payment card industry and covered financial institutions to justify 
adopting PCIDSS); Retail Industry Leaders Association (Comment #18) 
(arguing that adopting PCIDSS would not be an effective basis for a 
regulation); National Retail Federation (Comment #29) (noting that 
PCIDSS is a proprietary information security standard controlled by 
a single industry); State Privacy & Security Coalition (Comment #26) 
(arguing that adopting PCIDSS would amount to outsourcing federal 
rulemaking authority).
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4. Whether the Safeguards Rule Should Contain its own Definition of 
``Financial Institution'' Rather Than Cross-Reference the Definition 
set Forth in the Privacy Rule

    The Commission also asked whether the Rule should be revised to 
incorporate a definition of ``financial institution'' and related 
examples in the Rule itself, rather than cross-reference reference 
definitions and examples set forth in the Privacy Rule.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ Privacy of Consumer Financial Information Rule (``Privacy 
Rule''), 16 CFR part 313.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The term ``financial institution'' is defined in the Privacy Rule, 
and that term is cross-referenced in the Safeguards Rule.\43\ Under the 
Dodd-Frank Act,\44\ the majority of the Commission's rulemaking 
authority for the Privacy Rule was transferred to the Consumer 
Financial Protection Bureau, with the exception of rulemaking authority 
pertaining to certain motor vehicle dealers.\45\ Accordingly, the 
Commission's Privacy Rule now applies only to certain motor vehicle 
dealers. The Safeguards Rule, however, still applies to all financial 
institutions within the FTC's general enforcement jurisdiction.\46\ 
Thus, currently, the

[[Page 13162]]

definition of ``financial institution'' in the Privacy Rule--which 
governs the scope of the Safeguards Rule--applies to all financial 
institutions within the Commission's jurisdiction, despite the fact 
that most types of financial institutions are no longer subject to the 
Privacy Rule. This creates a confusing situation where the Privacy 
Rule, on its face, appears to cover types of ``financial institutions'' 
that the Privacy Rule no longer covers.
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    \43\ 16 CFR 313.3(k); 16 CFR 314.2(a).
    \44\ Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).
    \45\ 15 U.S.C. 6804(a)(1)(C).
    \46\ 15 U.S.C. 6804(a)(1)(A).
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    To address this issue, the Commission proposes incorporating the 
definition of ``financial institution'' and the accompanying examples 
from the Privacy Rule into the Safeguards Rule.\47\ None of the 
commenters voiced a view one way or the other on this issue. The 
Commission notes that this modification would have no substantive 
effect on the scope of the Rule or its enforcement.\48\ This change 
will only increase the clarity of the Rule.
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    \47\ The Commission is releasing a NPRM that proposes parallel 
revisions to the Privacy Rule concurrently with this NRPM.
    \48\ Separately, as noted below, the Commission proposes to 
revise the definition of ``financial institution'' to cover finders.
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5. Whether, if the Safeguards Rule is Amended To Include its own 
Definition of ``Financial Institution,'' That Definition Should be 
Expanded to Also Include (1) Entities That are Significantly Engaged in 
Activities That the Federal Reserve Board has Found To Be Incidental to 
Financial Activities and/or (2) Activities That Have Been Found To Be 
Closely Related to Banking or Incidental to Financial Activities by 
Regulation or Order in Effect After the Enactment of the GLBA

    Finally, the Commission asked about the scope of the definition of 
``financial institution.'' When promulgating the Privacy Rule in 2000, 
the Commission determined that companies engaged in activities that are 
``incidental to financial activities'' would not be considered 
``financial institutions.'' \49\ The Commission was the only agency to 
adopt this restrictive definition in its Privacy Rule, while the other 
agencies included incidental activities.\50\ In addition, the 
Commission decided that activities that were determined to be financial 
in nature after the enactment of the GLBA would not be automatically 
included in its Privacy Rule; rather, the Commission would have to take 
additional action to include them.\51\ The effect of these two 
decisions was to limit the activities covered by the Commission's rules 
to those set out in 12 CFR 225.28 as it existed in 2000, and to exclude 
any activities later determined by the Federal Reserve Board to be 
financial activities or incidental to those activities.\52\ The 
definition from the Privacy Rule was incorporated into the Safeguards 
Rule.\53\ Thus, in the Request for Comment,\54\ the Commission sought 
comment on whether it should more closely align with other agencies and 
amend the Safeguards Rule to include ``incidental'' activities and 
activities determined to be financial or incidental after 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ See 16 CFR 313.3(k); see also 65 FR 33646, 33654 (May 24, 
2000).
    \50\ The Commission also added the requirement that an entity 
must be ``significantly engaged'' in the financial activity to be 
considered a financial institution under the Privacy Rule. 16 CFR 
313.3(k). The Commission is not proposing to change this 
requirement.
    \51\ 65 FR 33646, 33654 n.23 (May 24, 2000).
    \52\ Id.
    \53\ 16 CFR 314.2(a).
    \54\ 81 FR 61632 (Sept. 7, 2016).
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    In 2000, the Federal Reserve Board determined that acting as a 
``finder'' is an activity that is ``incidental to a financial 
activity.'' \55\ The Federal Reserve Board defined ``finding'' as 
bringing together buyers and sellers of products or services for 
transactions that the buyers and sellers themselves negotiate and 
consummate.
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    \55\ See 65 FR 80735 (Dec. 22, 2000); 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The majority of commenters who addressed the definition of 
``financial institutions'' urged the Commission not to amend the 
definition to include more than those businesses that conduct 
traditional financial activities or to include activities determined to 
be financial in nature or incidental after the enactment of the 
GLBA.\56\ For example, the Software & Information Industry Association 
(``SIIA'') commented that the Rule already has an impact beyond 
financial institutions themselves in encouraging entities that receive 
customer information from financial institutions to take measures to 
secure that data, even though they may not be legally obligated to do 
so under the Rule.\57\ Per SIIA, this is because they are either 
contractually bound by partnerships with financial institutions, or 
compete for business on the ability to meet high security 
requirements.\58\ The Securities Industry and Financial Markets 
Association (``SIFMA'') also opposed this amendment, claiming that the 
securities industry makes a proactive, regular effort to familiarize 
itself with other regulatory frameworks' definitions in order to 
satisfy the Rule's ``reasonable'' standard.\59\ Thus, the Rule already 
implicitly requires their industry, SIFMA argues, ``to understand the 
Privacy Act, Federal Reserve Board guidance, and the [GLBA's] impact. 
Creating new, or modifying existing, definitions in the Rule would 
eliminate the Rule's flexibility in this regard.'' \60\
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    \56\ See, e.g., National Association of Convenience Stores 
(Comment #28); Software & Information Industry Association (Comment 
#23); Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Comment 
#25).
    \57\ Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23). 
But see National Automobile Dealers Association (Comment #40) 
(supporting more specific requirements for service providers' 
security).
    \58\ Software & Information Industry Association (Comment #23).
    \59\ Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association 
(Comment #25).
    \60\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In opposition to an expansion of the definition of financial 
institutions that might include incidental participants in financial 
transactions, the National Association of Convenience Stores (``NACS'') 
noted that some incidental participants--such as its members--do not 
store customer-identifying information, nor do they have continuing 
information-based relationships with consumers that would justify 
development and maintenance of a comprehensive security program.\61\ 
Further, according to NACS, its members do not handle some of the most 
sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers and 
driver's license numbers that are more commonly associated with 
identity theft.\62\ Financial institutions, by contrast, do handle such 
sensitive personal consumer information.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ National Association of Convenience Stores (Comment #28).
    \62\ Id.
    \63\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand, EPIC advocated that the Commission expand the 
scope of the Rule to include ``all organizations and companies that 
collect consumer data,'' such as educational institutions and 
commercial businesses that process student and consumer 
information.\64\ In underscoring the importance of doing so, EPIC noted 
that such organizations frequently collect the same sensitive 
information as traditional financial institutions and are subject to 
the same security threats.\65\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ Electronic Privacy Information Center (Comment #30).
    \65\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered these comments, the Commission proposes amending 
the definition of ``financial institution'' to include ``incidental'' 
activities and activities determined to be financial or incidental 
after 1999. This change would bring ``finders'' within the scope of the 
Rule. The Commission recognizes that commenters generally opposed 
revising the definition, but notes that commenters' concerns generally 
related

[[Page 13163]]

to issues not presented by the proposed change (e.g., bringing such 
entities as convenience stores or securities firms within the Rule's 
ambit).
    The Commission is not proposing such a broad expansion, however. 
The only effect of this proposed amendment would be to cause finders, 
whose activities often involve collection of financially sensitive 
personal information, to be covered by the Rule. This modification 
would ensure that finders adequately protect that information. Because 
they collect, maintain, and store sensitive consumer information, it is 
important for them to be subject to requirements to safeguard it. If 
this sensitive information were to get into the wrong hands, consumers 
could suffer identity theft, fraud, and other harms.
    The Commission's proposed change would not bring any other 
activities under the coverage of the Rule because the Federal Reserve 
Board has not determined any activity other than finding to be 
financial in nature, or incidental to such activity, since the 
enactment of the GLBA. Further, it would harmonize the Commission's 
Rule with other regulators' Safeguards Rules--which already cover 
institutions engaged in activities incidental to financial activities--
as well as Regulation P, which applies to all other financial 
institutions that are not covered by the Privacy Rule.\66\ This 
harmonization will create a more consistent regulatory landscape that 
will help to treat businesses the same regardless of which agency is 
regulating them. Accordingly, the Commission's proposed amendment to 
section 314.1(b) indicates that the Rule's scope includes companies 
that engage in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to 
such financial activities. Likewise, the proposed definition of 
``financial institution'' in proposed section 314.2(e)(1) also includes 
companies engaged in activities that are incidental to financial 
activities.
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    \66\ As noted above, however, unlike other agencies' equivalent 
rules, the FTC Safeguards Rule limits financial institutions to 
those ``significantly engaged'' in the financial activity. The 
Commission is proposing to retain this limitation and extend it to 
activity incidental to financial activity.
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    In connection with this proposal, the Commission requests comment 
on the impact of expanding the definition of ``financial institutions'' 
to include finders. Specifically, the Commission seeks information on 
1. The number of finders in the marketplace that would be included in 
this definition; and 2. the costs and benefits, including the costs and 
benefits to finders and consumers, of this proposal.

III. Section-by-Section Analysis

    As discussed above, the Commission proposes to amend the Safeguards 
Rule to include more detailed requirements for the development and 
establishment of the information security program required under the 
Rule. These amendments are based primarily on the cybersecurity 
regulations issued by the New York Department of Financial Services, 23 
NYCRR 500 (``Cybersecurity Regulations''), and the insurance data 
security model law issued by the National Association of Insurance 
Commissioners (``Model Law'').\67\ The Cybersecurity Regulations were 
issued in February 2017 after two rounds of public comment. The Model 
Law was issued in October 2017. The Commission believes that both the 
Cybersecurity Regulations and the Model Law maintain the balance 
between providing detailed guidance and avoiding overly prescriptive 
requirements for information security programs. The proposed amendments 
do not adopt either law wholesale, instead taking portions from each 
and adapting others for the purposes of the Safeguards Rule.\68\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Insurance 
Data Security Model Law (2017), www.naic.org/store/free/MDL-668.pdf. 
South Carolina has enacted legislation based on the Model Law. 2017 
S.C. Act No. 171, R. 184, H 4655.
    \68\ At the time the Commission issued its request for comments, 
neither the Cybersecurity Regulations nor the Model Law had been 
implemented, so the Commission did not seek comment on the more 
detailed approaches they adopted. The Commission is doing so through 
this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission is interested in receiving data, research, case 
studies, or other evidence related to business efforts to comply with 
the Cybersecurity Regulations or state laws mirroring the Model Law. 
The Commission is also interested in receiving comments on the extent 
to which the proposal would preempt existing state laws. Section 507(a) 
of the GLBA, 15 U.S.C. 6807(a), preserves a state ``statute, 
regulation, order, or interpretation'' that is not ``inconsistent'' 
with the privacy and security provisions of the GLBA. The Commission is 
interested in hearing about the effect of the proposal on companies' 
compliance with state and federal law. Finally, in light of the 
proposed amendments and the existence of several cybersecurity 
frameworks that require processes similar to the Proposed Rule, the 
Commission additionally requests comments on the potential for safe 
harbors against Commission enforcement of the Safeguards Rule, 
including evidence on the efficacy and utility of safe harbors in other 
contexts and perspectives on the viability of a safe harbor in the 
present context, especially as safe harbors relate to small business.
    In addition to the amendments related to the requirements for 
information security programs, the Commission proposes amendments to 
the definition of ``financial institution'' and the addition of 
examples previously contained in the Privacy Rule, as discussed above. 
It also adds to the definition of ``financial institution'' entities 
that engage in activities incidental to financial activities. The 
following is a section-by-section analysis of the proposed amendments. 
The Commission seeks comments on the proposed amendments in general but 
also seeks comment on specific questions as set forth in the analysis 
below.

Proposed Amendments to Section 314.1: Purpose and Scope

    The proposed amendment would add language from section 313.1(b) of 
the Privacy Rule, relating to the scope of the Rule and definition of 
financial institution, to section 314.1(b) of the Safeguards Rule. This 
addition would set forth the scope of the Safeguards Rule, which 
previously applied to the same entities as the Privacy Rule until the 
Dodd-Frank Act limited the scope of the Privacy Rule only to certain 
automobile dealers. As noted above, the Commission is proposing in a 
concurrent NPRM to amend the Privacy Rule to reflect the narrower scope 
of that regulation \69\ and, in turn, proposes to amend the Safeguards 
Rule to clarify that it retains its original scope. Section 314.1(b) 
states that the Safeguards Rule applies to the handling of customer 
information by all financial institutions over which the Commission has 
jurisdiction. The proposed amendment sets forth the general definition 
of ``financial institution'' and provides examples of financial 
institutions under the Commission's jurisdiction, such as finance 
companies and mortgage brokers. The added language is taken largely 
from the existing Privacy Rule. The new language is not meant to change 
the scope of the Safeguards Rule, other than to reflect the proposed 
addition of ``finders'' to the Rule's scope, as discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ A notice of proposed rulemaking relating to the Privacy 
Rule is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

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[[Page 13164]]

Proposed Amendment to Section 314.2: Definitions

    The proposed amendments to section 314.2 add definitions to terms 
introduced in the proposed amended Rule. The proposed amendments do not 
alter or remove any definitions in the existing Rule. Existing 
definitions are interspersed with new definitions in alphabetical 
order. The Commission is interested in hearing whether these updated 
definitions reflect current practices, or whether they need to be 
adjusted to avoid unintended consequences, modified or eliminated for 
smaller firms, or narrowed to avoid undue burden. Proposed paragraph 
(a), which states that terms used in the Safeguards Rule have the same 
meaning as set forth in the Privacy Rule, would be unchanged from the 
existing Rule. This provision will apply to terms defined in the 
Privacy Rule but not in the Safeguards Rule, such as ``customer'' and 
``nonpublic personal information.''
    Proposed paragraph (b) would define an ``authorized user'' of an 
information system as any employee, contractor, agent or other person 
that participates in the business operations of an entity and is 
authorized to access and use any of that financial institution's 
information systems and data.\70\ This term is used in proposed section 
314.4(c)(10), which requires financial institutions to implement 
policies to monitor the activity of authorized users and detect 
unauthorized access to customer information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ This definition is substantively identical to the 
definition found in 23 NYCRR 500.01(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c) would define a ``security event'' as ``an 
event resulting in unauthorized access to, or disruption or misuse of, 
an information system or information stored on such information 
system.''\71\ This term is used in proposed provisions requiring 
financial institutions to establish written incident response plans 
designed to respond to security events and to implement audit trails to 
detect and respond to security events. It also appears in a proposed 
provision requiring a financial institution's chief information 
security officer to provide an annual report to the financial 
institution's governing body, which must identify all security events 
that took place that year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ This definition is based on the definition found in the 
Model Law, Section 3(D). The proposed amendment adopts the term 
``security event'' in place of the Model Law's term ``cybersecurity 
event'' to clarify that an information security program encompasses 
information in both digital and paper form and that unauthorized 
access to paper files would also be a security event under the Rule. 
For this reason, throughout the proposed amendment, the Commission 
has proposed to replace the term ``cybersecurity'' from the 
Cybersecurity Regulations and Model Law with either ``information 
security'' or simply ``security.'' In addition, the proposed 
definition does not include the Model Law's exemption for the 
acquisition of encrypted information or events where the covered 
entity determines that the information accessed by an unauthorized 
person has not been used or released and has been returned or 
destroyed. In both instances, the Commission believes that a 
financial institution should still engage in its incident response 
procedures to address the failures in its information security that 
allowed such events to occur.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (d) is the existing Rule's paragraph (b) and 
would not alter the definition of ``customer information.''
    Proposed paragraph (e) would define ``encryption'' as ``the 
transformation of data into a form that results in a low probability of 
assigning meaning without the use of a protective process or key.'' 
This term is used in proposed section 314.4(c)(4), which generally 
requires financial institutions to encrypt customer information, with 
certain exceptions. This definition is adopted from the Model Law \72\ 
and is intended to define the process of encryption while not requiring 
any particular technology or technique for achieving the protection 
provided by encryption. The Commission seeks comment on this 
definition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ Model Law, Section 3(F).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed above, proposed paragraph (f) would incorporate the 
definition of ``financial institution'' from the Privacy Rule. The 
Commission is proposing one substantive change to the definition of 
``financial institution'' to include entities that are ``significantly 
engaged in activities that are incidental'' to financial activities as 
defined by the Bank Holding Company Act. As discussed above, this 
change would bring only one activity into the definition that was not 
covered before: The act of ``finding,'' as defined in 12 CFR 
225.86(d)(1). The proposed revision to paragraph (f) would add an 
example of a financial institution acting as a finder by ``bringing 
together one or more buyers and sellers of any product or service for 
transactions that the parties themselves negotiate and consummate.'' 
This example uses the language set forth in 12 CFR 225.86(d)(1), which 
defines finding as an activity that is incidental to a financial 
activity under the Bank Holding Company Act.
    Proposed paragraph (g) is the existing Rule's paragraph (c) and 
would not alter the definition of ``information security program.''
    Proposed paragraph (h) would define ``information system'' as ``a 
discrete set of electronic information resources organized for the 
collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination or 
disposition of electronic information, as well as any specialized 
system such as industrial/process controls systems, telephone switching 
and private branch exchange systems, and environmental control 
systems.'' \73\ The term ``information system'' is used throughout the 
proposed amendments to designate the systems that must be covered by 
the information security program. This definition is designed to cover 
the systems, including hardware, software, and networks that financial 
institutions use to maintain, process, access and store customer 
information. It is meant to be a broad definition that covers any 
system that, if compromised, could result in unauthorized access to 
customer information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ This definition is identical to the definition in 23 NYCRR 
500.1(e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (i) would define ``multi-factor authentication'' 
as ``authentication through verification of at least two of the 
following types of authentication factors: 1. Knowledge factors, such 
as a password; 2. possession factors, such as a token; or 3. inherence 
factors, such as biometric characteristics.'' This term is used in 
proposed section 314.4(c)(6), which requires financial institutions to 
implement multi-factor authentication for individuals accessing 
internal networks that contain customer information. This definition 
comes from the Cybersecurity Regulations \74\ and is designed to 
conform to current understanding of what constitutes multi-factor 
authentication while still allowing financial institutions considerable 
flexibility in designing systems to protect their networks.\75\ Under 
this definition, a system of multi-factor authentication would need to 
verify at least two of the three types of factors, but has considerable 
flexibility in how to implement each factor. For example, under the 
knowledge factor, financial institutions are not limited to requiring 
passwords for access to systems, but might also use biographical 
information, or other knowledge that should be limited to the 
authorized user. The possession factor, could

[[Page 13165]]

include verifying that a recognized device is accessing the system, or 
the transmission of a one-time code to a device on file with the 
financial institution. For the inherence factors, fingerprints, retina 
scans, or voice prints can be used. The Commission seeks comment on 
whether this definition is sufficiently flexible, while still requiring 
the elements of meaningful multi-factor authentication.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ 23 NYCRR 500.01(f). The proposed amendment deviates from 
the language of the Cybersecurity Regulations in that it does not 
include text messages as an example of a possession factor. As NIST 
has noted, SMS text messages are vulnerable to compromise and may 
not be an appropriate means of verifying identity. See, e.g., NIST 
Special Publication 800-63B, Digital Identity Guidelines, 5.1.3.3 
(restricting use of verification using the Public Switched Telephone 
Network (SMS or voice) as an ``out-of-band'' factor for multifactor 
authentication).
    \75\ See NIST, Glossary, ``Multifactor Authentication,'' https://csrc.nist.gov/glossary/term/Multi_Factor_Authentication.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (j) would define ``penetration testing'' as a 
``test methodology in which assessors attempt to circumvent or defeat 
the security features of an information system by attempting 
penetration of databases or controls from outside or inside your 
information systems.'' \76\ This term is used in proposed section 
314.4(d)(2), which requires financial institutions to continually 
monitor the effectiveness of their safeguards or to engage in annual 
penetration testing. The primary example of penetration testing is 
where a security expert uses common techniques in an attempt to breach 
the security of a financial institution's information system. As set 
forth in the proposed definition, this includes attempts where the 
penetration tester is acting as an outsider who must penetrate the 
system without any initial access to the system, and attempts where the 
tester acts as someone with limited access to the system--such as a 
contractor or employee--and tries to access information that such an 
insider is not authorized to access. The Commission believes that there 
is currently a commonly understood definition of these services and 
that this definition provides sufficient guidance to understand the 
requirements of the proposed amendments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \76\ This definition is substantively identical to the 
definition found in 23 NYCRR 500.01(h).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (k) is the existing Rule's paragraph (d) and 
would not alter the definition of ``service provider.''

Proposed Amendment to Section 314.3: Standards for Safeguarding 
Customer Information

    Current section 314.3 requires financial institutions to develop an 
information security program (subsection (a)) and sets forth the 
objectives of the Rule (subsection (b)). Proposed section 314.3 retains 
the current requirements of section 314.3 under subsection (a) and the 
existing statement of objectives under subsection (b). It would, 
however, change the requirement that ``safeguards'' be based on the 
elements set forth in section 314.4, by replacing ``safeguards'' with 
``information security program.'' This change is proposed to clarify 
that the elements set forth in section 314.4 are parts of the 
information security plan.

Proposed Amendments to Section 314.4: Elements

    The proposed amendments to section 314.4 would alter existing 
required elements of an information security program and adds several 
new elements. Although the Commission believes the proposed approach is 
sufficiently flexible, it seeks comment on whether it creates 
unintended consequences for businesses, may be more stringent than 
necessary to achieve the objective, and/or unnecessarily modifies the 
current rule without creating a material benefit to security.

Proposed Paragraph (a)

    Amended paragraph (a) would expand the current requirement of 
designating an ``employee or employees to coordinate your information 
security program'' by requiring the designation of a single qualified 
individual responsible for overseeing and implementing the financial 
institution's security program and enforcing its information security 
program.\77\ This individual is referenced in the Rule as a Chief 
Information Security Officer or ``CISO.'' This title is for clarity in 
the proposed Rule; financial institutions would not be required to 
actually grant that title to the designated individual. The proposed 
amendment would no longer allow financial institutions to designate 
more than one employee to coordinate the information security program. 
The Commission is interested in hearing about the potential costs and 
benefits of this proposal. In particular, the Commission is interested 
in any data, research or case studies that the Commission could use to 
analyze whether this is the best approach. This proposed change is 
intended to ensure that a single individual is accountable for 
overseeing the entire information security program and to lessen the 
possibility that there will be gaps in responsibility between 
individuals. The Commission believes that requiring a single 
responsible individual will increase accountability for the security of 
financial institutions' information systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(a). This amendment is based on 23 
NYCRR 500.04(a) and is functionally identical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the proposed amendment, the CISO need not be an employee of 
the financial institution, but can be an employee of an affiliate or a 
service provider. This proposed change is meant to accommodate 
financial institutions that may prefer to retain an outside expert, 
lack the resources to employ their own information security staff 
qualified to oversee a program, or decide to pool resources with 
affiliates to share staff to manage information security. To the extent 
a financial institution meets this requirement by using a service 
provider or affiliate, however, the proposed amendment would require 
that the financial institution still: 1. Retain responsibility for 
compliance with the Rule; 2. designate a senior member of its personnel 
to be responsible for direction and oversight of the CISO; and 3. 
require the service provider or affiliate to maintain an information 
security program that protects the financial institution in accordance 
with the Rule. These proposed amendments are designed to ensure that, 
even when the financial institution outsources the CISO function, the 
financial institution retains responsibility for its own information 
security.

Proposed Paragraph (b)

    The proposed amendments to paragraph (b) clarify that a financial 
institution must base its information security program on the findings 
of its risk assessment by changing the first sentence of existing 
paragraph (b) to read that financial institutions' ``information 
security program shall be based on a risk assessment. . . .'' \78\ This 
is intended to emphasize this requirement, which is already required 
under the existing Rule.\79\ In addition, the proposed amendment 
removes existing section 314.4(b)'s requirement that the risk 
assessment must include consideration of specific risks \80\ because 
these specific risks are set forth elsewhere in the proposed 
amendments.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b).
    \79\ 16 CFR 314.4(b).
    \80\ 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3).
    \81\ See, e.g., Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(2), (c)(10), and (e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed section 314.4(b)(1) would require that the risk 
assessments be written and based on criteria for evaluating the risks 
the institutions face based on their particular information systems and 
the customer information they hold.\82\ In addition, revised paragraph 
(b)(1) would require that the risk assessment describe how the 
financial institution will mitigate or

[[Page 13166]]

accept any identified risks and how the financial institution's 
information security program will address those risks.\83\ The 
Commission is proposing these requirements in order to encourage 
financial institutions to perform thorough and complete risk 
assessments. The proposed amendment would allow financial institutions 
to develop their own criteria suited to their needs, but generally the 
criteria should address the sensitivity and value of customer 
information collected, maintained or transmitted by the financial 
institution and possible vectors through which the security, 
confidentiality, and integrity of that information could be threatened.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.09(b). Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1) retains the 
requirement from the Cybersecurity Regulations that the risk 
assessment be written, but deviates from the Cybersecurity 
Regulations in that it does not require that the criteria for the 
risk assessment be written.
    \83\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(1)(iii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed amendment to section 314.4(b) would also add a 
requirement that financial institutions ``periodically perform 
additional risk assessments that reexamine the reasonably foreseeable 
internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and 
integrity of customer information that could result in the unauthorized 
disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction or other compromise of such 
information, and reassess the sufficiency of any safeguards in place to 
control these risks.'' \84\ The Commission believes that in order to be 
effective, a risk assessment must be subject to periodic reevaluation 
to adapt to changes in both financial institutions' information systems 
and changes in threats to the security of those systems. The proposed 
amendment would not set forth a prescriptive schedule for the periodic 
risk assessment, but would require financial institutions to set their 
own schedule based on the needs and resources of their institution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(b)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Paragraph (c)

    Proposed paragraph (c) retains the existing Rule's requirement for 
financial institutions to design and implement safeguards to control 
the risks identified in the risk assessment. It also adds more detailed 
requirements for what these safeguards must include. The Commission 
believes that most financial institutions already implement such 
measures as part of their comprehensive information security programs 
under the existing Rule. The proposed amendment simply makes these 
requirements explicit in order to clarify the Rule and ensure that 
financial institutions understand their obligations under the Rule.
    Amended paragraph (c)(1) would require financial institutions to 
place access controls on information systems, designed to authenticate 
users and permit access only to authorized individuals in order to 
protect customer information from unauthorized acquisition.\85\ The 
Commission views this as a fundamental requirement of all information 
security programs,\86\ which certainly would have been a part of any 
program that met the requirements of the existing Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(1). This proposed amendment is 
based primarily on the Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(a), though it adds 
the Cybersecurity Regulations' requirement that such controls be 
periodically reviewed. 23 NYCRR 500.07. The proposed amendments use 
the Model Law, as opposed to the Cybersecurity Regulations, where, 
as here, the format is more easily integrated into the current Rule.
    \86\ See, e.g., Complaint, Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 152 3054 
(October 26, 2018) (alleging that company failed to implement 
reasonable access controls).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c)(2) would require financial institutions to 
``[i]dentify and manage the data, personnel, devices, systems, and 
facilities that enable [the financial institution] to achieve business 
purposes in accordance with their relative importance to business 
objectives and [the financial institution's] risk strategy.'' \87\ This 
requirement is designed to ensure that the financial institution 
inventories the data in its possession, inventories the systems on 
which that data is collected, stored or transmitted, and has a full 
understanding of the relevant portions of its information systems and 
their relative importance.\88\ For example, it would require a company 
to understand which devices and networks contain customer information, 
who has access to them, and how those systems are connected to each 
other and to external networks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \87\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(2). This proposed amendment is 
based on the Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(b), and is functionally 
identical to it.
    \88\ See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., No. 
CV 12-1365-PHX-PGR (D. Ariz. August 8, 2012) (alleging that company 
failed to provide reasonable security by, among other things, 
failing to inventory computers connected to its network).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c)(3) would require that financial institutions 
restrict access to physical locations containing customer information 
only to authorized individuals.\89\ This element would require 
financial institutions to protect physical locations, as opposed to 
networks, that contain customer information and is designed to address 
the threat to physical copies of records.\90\ This would require 
financial institutions to protect paper files and control access to 
areas in which such files are stored. This may include restricting 
access to work areas where personnel are using hard copies of customer 
information or requiring physical locks on filing cabinets containing 
customer information and similar protections. It would also include 
policies for securing physical devices that contain personal 
information, such as laptops, tablets, phones, and thumb drives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \89\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(3). This proposed amendment is 
based on Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(c) and is functionally identical 
to it.
    \90\ See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. LifeLock, Inc., No. 2:10-cv-
00530-MHM (D. Ariz. March 9, 2010) (alleging that company failed to 
provide reasonable security where it received customers' personal 
information by facsimile in an open and easily accessible area).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c)(4) would generally require financial 
institutions to encrypt all customer information, both in transit and 
at rest.\91\ The Commission believes that in most circumstances 
encryption is an appropriate and important way to protect customer 
information from unauthorized use and access.\92\ Recognizing that 
companies may need flexibility in certain unforeseen circumstances, the 
proposed amendment does, however, permit financial institutions to use 
alternative means to protect customer information, subject to review 
and approval by the CISO. This is similar to the approach taken by the 
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule, 
which permits a covered entity to use an alternative to encryption if 
it determines that encryption is not reasonable and documents an 
equivalent alternative measure.\93\ The Commission seeks comment on 
this approach.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(4). This proposed amendment is 
based on both 23 NYCRR 500.15 and Model Law Section 4(D)(2)(d). It 
takes the general format from the Model Law but integrates the 
requirement that any alternative measures must be approved by the 
CISO from the Cybersecurity Regulations.
    \92\ See, e.g., Complaint, Uber Technologies, Inc., FTC No. 152 
3054 (October 26, 2018) (alleging that company failed to provide 
reasonable security when it stored sensitive personal information in 
plain text rather than encrypting it).
    \93\ See 45 CFR 164.306(d)(3); id. 164.312(a)(2)(iv) (making 
encryption an addressable specification).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed paragraph (c)(5) would establish a requirement that 
financial institutions ``[a]dopt secure development practices for in-
house developed applications utilized'' for ``transmitting, accessing, 
or storing customer information.'' \94\ This proposed amendment is 
designed to ensure that financial institutions address the security of 
software they develop to handle customer information, as distinct from 
the security of their networks that contain

[[Page 13167]]

customer information.\95\ Financial institutions would be required to 
adopt practices designed to develop applications that do not subject 
customer information to unacceptable risk of unauthorized access. In 
addition, this amendment would require financial institutions to 
develop ``procedures for evaluating, assessing, or testing the security 
of externally developed applications [they] utilize to transmit, 
access, or store customer information.'' This proposed provision is 
designed to ensure that financial institutions take steps to verify 
that applications they use to handle customer information are 
secure.\96\ Under this amendment, financial institutions would be 
required to take reasonable steps to assure themselves that 
applications they use to handle customer information are secure and 
will not expose customer information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \94\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(5).
    \95\ See, e.g., Complaint, FTC v. D-Link Systems, Inc., No. 
3:17-CV-00039-JD (N.D. Cal. March 20, 2017) (alleging that company 
failed to provide reasonable security when it failed to adequately 
test the software on its devices).
    \96\ See, e.g., Complaint, Lenovo, FTC No. 152-3134 (January 2, 
2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security 
by failing to properly assess and address security risks caused by 
third-party software).
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    Amended paragraph (c)(6) would require financial institutions to 
``implement multi-factor authentication for any individual accessing 
customer information'' or ``internal networks that contain customer 
information.'' \97\ The Commission views multi-factor authentication as 
a minimum standard to allowing access to customer information for most 
financial institutions.\98\ As discussed above, the Commission believes 
that the definition of multi-factor authentication is sufficiently 
flexible to allow most financial institutions to develop a system that 
is suited to their needs. Currently used forms of multifactor 
authentication, such as requiring both a password and the receipt of a 
one-time passcode on a registered device, would meet this proposed 
requirement. To the extent that a financial institution finds that a 
method other than multi-factor authentication offers reasonably 
equivalent or more secure access controls, the institution may adopt 
that method with the written permission of its CISO. The Commission 
seeks comment on this approach.
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    \97\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(6). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.12, although it has been limited to requiring 
multifactor authentication only for accessing customer information.
    \98\ See, e.g., Federal Financial Institutions Examinations 
Council, ``Authentication in an Electronic Banking Environment,'' 
(August 8, 2001) (``In general, multi-factor authentication should 
be used on higher risk systems.''); see also Complaint, TaxSlayer, 
FTC No. 1623063 (November 8, 2017) (alleging that company failed to 
provide reasonable security when it used single factor 
authentication).
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    Amended paragraph (c)(7) would require information systems under 
the Rule to include audit trails designed to detect and respond to 
security events.\99\ Audit trails are chronological logs that show who 
has accessed an information system and what activities the user engaged 
in during a given period.\100\ The proposed Rule does not require any 
specific type of audit trail, nor does it require that every 
transaction be recorded in its entirety. However, the audit trail must 
be designed to allow the financial institution to detect when the 
system has been compromised or when an attempt to compromise has been 
made. It must also provide sufficient information for the financial 
institution to reasonably respond to the event. The proposed amendment 
does not require that the audit trails be retained for any particular 
period, but the Commission believes that in order to allow the 
financial institution to detect and respond to security events, the 
audit trails will usually have to be maintained for some reasonable 
length of time. Financial institutions would need to determine the 
appropriate retention period for their operations. The Commission seeks 
comment on whether this requirement needs to be modified or eliminated 
for smaller firms, or narrowed to avoid undue burden.
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    \99\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(7). This proposed amendment is 
based on Model Law, Section 4(D)(2)(i), but removes the requirement 
that the audit trail be able to reconstruct material financial 
transactions. The proposed amendment requires only that the audit 
trail be designed to detect and respond to security events.
    \100\ See Computer Security Resource Center, Glossary, ``Audit 
Trail,'' https://csrc.nist.gov/glossary/term/audit-trail.
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    Amended paragraph (c)(8) would require financial institutions to 
develop procedures for the secure disposal of customer information in 
any format that is no longer necessary for their business operations or 
other legitimate business purposes.\101\ The proposed amendment allows 
the retention of information when retaining the information is required 
by law or where targeted disposal is not feasible due to the manner in 
which the information is maintained, such as when the information is on 
paper records that cannot be destroyed without also destroying other 
information which is still necessary for business operations. The 
disposal of records, both physical and digital, can result in exposure 
of customer information if not performed properly.\102\ Similarly, if 
records are retained when they are no longer necessary, there is a risk 
that those records will be subject to unauthorized access. This 
amendment would require financial institutions to reduce both of those 
risks by designing procedures to dispose of records that are no longer 
necessary and to do so securely and in a timely manner. The proposed 
amendment does not define ``legitimate business purposes,'' as the 
Commission feels that the wide array of business models of financial 
institutions under its jurisdiction defies any such attempt.
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    \101\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(8). This proposed amendment is 
based on Model Law, Section D(2)(k), but adds additional language 
from 23 NYCRR 500.13, which requires disposal of information that is 
no longer necessary for business operation or other legitimate 
business purposes, but provides an exception where disposal is not 
feasible.
    \102\ See, e.g., Rite Aid Corp., FTC No. 072-3121 (November 22, 
2010) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable data 
security when it failed to implement policies and procedures to 
dispose securely of personal information).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission seeks comment on whether the Rule should define 
legitimate business purposes to exclude certain uses of customer 
information, require the destruction of certain types of data after a 
fixed period, or require financial institutions to affirmatively 
demonstrate a current need for customer information that is retained. 
The Commission also seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment 
should include a requirement to develop procedures to limit the 
collection of customer information that is not necessary for business 
operation or other legitimate business purposes.
    Proposed paragraph (c)(9) would require financial institutions to 
adopt procedures for change management.\103\ Change management 
procedures govern the addition, removal, or modification of elements of 
an information system.\104\ Under the proposed amendment, financial 
institutions would need to develop procedures to assess the security of 
devices, networks, and other items to be added to their information 
system or the effect of removing such items or otherwise modifying the 
information system. For example, a financial institution that acquired 
a new subsidiary and wished to combine the new subsidiary's network 
with its own would be required to assess the security of the new 
network and the effect of adding it to the existing network. Although 
the Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently balanced, 
it seeks comment on whether the proposal may be more stringent than

[[Page 13168]]

necessary to achieve the objective, or unnecessarily modifies the 
current rule without creating a material benefit to security.
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    \103\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(9). This proposed amendment is 
unique to this proposal and is not based on the Cybersecurity 
Regulations or the Model Law.
    \104\ See, e.g., Rutgers Information Security, Change 
Management, https://rusecure.rutgers.edu/content/change-management.
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    Proposed paragraph (c)(10) would require financial institutions to 
implement policies and procedures designed ``to monitor the activity of 
authorized users and detect unauthorized access or use of, or tampering 
with, customer information by such users.'' \105\ In addition to 
threats posed by outside actors, authorized users such as employees and 
contractors can pose a substantial risk to the security of customer 
information.\106\ This amendment would require financial institutions 
to take steps to monitor those users and their activities related to 
customer information in a manner adapted to the financial institution's 
particular operations and needs. The monitoring should allow financial 
institutions to identify inappropriate use of customer information by 
authorized users, such as transferring large amounts of data or 
accessing information for which the user has no legitimate use. This 
requirement is separate from the requirement to maintain ``audit 
trails,'' which would require logging of unusual events.
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    \105\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(c)(10). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.14(a) and is functionally identical.
    \106\ See, e.g., Complaint, U.S. v. ChoicePoint Inc., No. 1:06-
cv-00198-GET (N.D. Ga. January 30, 2006) (alleging that company 
failed to provide reasonable security when it failed to monitor the 
activities of authorized users).
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Proposed Paragraph (d)

    Proposed paragraph (d)(1) would retain the current Rule's 
requirement that financial institutions ``[r]egularly test or otherwise 
monitor the effectiveness of the safeguards' key controls, systems, and 
procedures, including those to detect actual and attempted attacks on, 
or intrusions into, information systems.'' \107\ The Commission views 
testing and monitoring as an integral part of any information security 
program.\108\ Proposed paragraph (d)(2) provides further guidance 
noting that the monitoring should take the form of either ``continuous 
monitoring'' or ``periodic penetration testing and vulnerability 
assessments.'' Continuous monitoring is any system that allows real-
time, ongoing monitoring of an information system's security, including 
monitoring for security threats, misconfigured systems, and other 
vulnerabilities.\109\ The Commission seeks comment on whether these 
required enhancements are appropriate, as well as information about the 
potential costs or unintended consequences of this proposal.
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    \107\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(d). This language is based on the 
current rule's requirement for regular testing, 16 CFR 314.4(c), but 
adds the requirement for either continuous monitoring or regular 
penetration testing and vulnerability assessments from 23 NYCRR 
500.05.
    \108\ See, e.g., U.S. v. VTech Electronics Limited, No. 1:18-cv-
00114 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2018) (alleging that company failed to 
provide reasonable information security when it failed to monitor 
its network and failed to perform vulnerability and penetration 
testing).
    \109\ Financial institutions that choose the option of 
continuous monitoring would also be satisfying 314.4(c)(10).
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    If a financial institution does not adopt effective continuous 
monitoring, under the proposed amendments it would be required to 
engage in periodic penetration testing and vulnerability assessment 
consisting of no less than annual penetration testing based on the 
financial institution's risk assessment and biannual vulnerability 
assessments designed to detect publicly known vulnerabilities.\110\ 
These tests may be performed directly by the financial institution or 
by third-party assessors, as long as they are designed to assess the 
systems that contain or can be used to access customer information and 
are performed effectively. The schedule of this required testing aligns 
with the requirements of the Cybersecurity Regulations. The Commission 
seeks comment on whether this schedule of penetration testing and 
vulnerability assessment is appropriate or whether the Rule should 
require these tasks to be performed more or less frequently. In 
particular, the Commission is interested in any data, research or case 
studies that the Commission could use to analyze what commenters 
advocate.
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    \110\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(d)(1) and (2).
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Proposed Paragraph (e)

    Proposed paragraph (e) would require financial institutions to 
implement policies and procedures ``to ensure that personnel are able 
to enact [the financial institution's] information security program'' 
through various forms of training and education.\111\ Training of 
employees is a critical part of information security, as employees will 
be the ones enforcing and implementing any information security 
program.\112\ First, financial institutions would be required to 
provide their personnel with ``security awareness training that is 
updated to reflect risks identified by the risk assessment.'' \113\ 
This requirement would apply to all personnel that have the ability to 
handle, access, or dispose of customer information. The training would 
be designed to inform personnel of the risks to customer information 
and the financial institution's policies and procedures to minimize 
those risks.\114\
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    \111\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e).
    \112\ See, e.g., Complaint, Lenovo, FTC No. 152-3134 (January 2, 
2018) (alleging that company failed to provide reasonable security 
by failing to provide adequate data security training for employees 
responsible for testing third-party software); Complaint, HTC 
America Inc., FTC No. 122 3049 (July 2, 2013) (alleging that company 
failed to implement adequate privacy and security guidance or 
training for its engineering staff).
    \113\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(1). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.14(b) and is functionally identical.
    \114\ The Commission offers educational material on data 
security that can aid financial institutions in developing training 
materials for their employees. See, e.g., FTC Business Center, Data 
Security, https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/privacy-and-security/data-security.
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    Second, financial institutions would be required to ``[u]tiliz[e] 
qualified information security personnel,'' employed either by them or 
by affiliates or service providers, ``to manage [their] information 
security risks and to perform or oversee the information security 
program.'' \115\ This amendment is designed to ensure that information 
security personnel used by financial institutions are qualified for 
their positions and that sufficient personnel are used.
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    \115\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(2). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(1) and is functionally identical.
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    Third, financial institutions would be required to ``[p]rovid[e] 
information security personnel with security updates and training 
sufficient to address relevant security risks.'' \116\ Maintaining 
awareness of emerging threats and vulnerabilities is a critical aspect 
of information security that the Commission believes was already a part 
of any information security program that complies with the existing 
Safeguards Rule. This amendment formalizes the requirement that 
financial institutions provide information security personnel with 
ongoing training to stay abreast of such developments. It is separate 
from the requirement to train all personnel generally, reflected in 
paragraph (e)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \116\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(3). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(2) and is functionally identical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fourth, financial institutions would be required to ``[v]erify[ ] 
that key information security personnel take steps to maintain current 
knowledge of changing cybersecurity threats and countermeasures.'' 
\117\ For example, a financial institution could offer incentives or 
funds for key personnel to undertake continuing education that 
addresses recent developments, include a requirement to stay abreast of 
security

[[Page 13169]]

research as part of their performance metrics, or conduct an annual 
assessment of key personnel's knowledge of threats related to their 
information system. This requirement would be in addition to the 
proposed requirement that data security personnel be provided ongoing 
training. The proposed amendment does not define ``key personnel'' as 
the Commission believes that which personnel are ``key'' will vary 
considerably from entity to entity and that each financial institution 
will need to determine which employees must maintain this knowledge 
based on their structure and risk assessments. In most cases, though, 
the Commission believes that at a minimum the CISO and senior 
cybersecurity personnel would be covered by this amendment. Although 
the Commission believes the proposed approach is sufficiently flexible, 
it seeks comment on whether these proposals create unintended 
consequences for businesses, may be more stringent than necessary to 
achieve the objective, and/or unnecessarily modifies the current rule 
without creating a material benefit to security. In particular, the 
Commission is interested in any data, research or case studies that the 
Commission could use to analyze what commenters advocate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \117\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(e)(4). This proposed amendment is 
based on 23 NYCRR 500.10(a)(3) and is functionally identical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Paragraph (f)

    Proposed paragraph (f) would retain the current Rule's requirement 
in existing paragraph (d) regarding the oversight of service providers, 
and add a requirement that financial institutions periodically assess 
service providers ``based on the risk they present and the continued 
adequacy of their safeguards.'' \118\ The current Rule requires an 
assessment of service providers' safeguards only at the onboarding 
stage; the proposed addition is designed to require financial 
institutions to monitor their service providers on an ongoing basis to 
ensure that they are maintaining adequate safeguards to protect 
customer information that they possess or access.\119\ This ongoing 
oversight could include investigating red flags raised by service 
providers' practices or conducting periodic assessments of service 
provider practices, depending on the circumstances.
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    \118\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(g).
    \119\ The proposed addition is based on a similar provision in 
the Cybersecurity Regulations. 23 NYCRR 500.11(a)(4).
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Proposed Paragraph (g)

    Proposed paragraph (g) would retain the language of existing 
paragraph (e) in the current Rule, which would continue to require 
financial institutions to evaluate and adjust their information 
security programs in light of the result of testing required by this 
section, material changes to their operations or business arrangements, 
or any other circumstances that they know or have reason to know may 
have a material impact on their information security program.\120\ 
While proposed paragraph (d) would amplify the testing required under 
the current Rule, the requirement to evaluate and adjust the program in 
light of such testing remains the same.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \120\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(g).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Paragraph (h)

    Proposed paragraph (h) would require financial institutions to 
establish incident response plans.\121\ The written response plans 
would be required to be ``designed to promptly respond to, and recover 
from, any security event materially affecting the confidentiality, 
integrity, or availability of customer information'' in the financial 
institution's possession. The amendment would require the incident 
response plans to address the following areas: 1. The goals of the 
incident response plan; 2. the internal processes for responding to a 
security event; 3. the definition of clear roles, responsibilities and 
levels of decision-making authority; 4. external and internal 
communications and information sharing; 5. identification of 
requirements for the remediation of any identified weaknesses in 
information systems and associated controls; 6. documentation and 
reporting regarding security events and related incident response 
activities; and 7. the evaluation and revision as necessary of the 
incident response plan following a security event. The proposed 
incident response plan requirement focuses on preparing financial 
institutions to respond promptly and appropriately to security events 
and to mitigate any weaknesses in their information systems 
accordingly. It is not intended to create any independent reporting or 
notification requirements, nor to conflict with any such requirements 
to which financial institutions are already subject. The proposed 
requirement regarding ``documentation and reporting regarding security 
events and related incident response activities'' would require 
incident response plans to document any notification or reporting 
requirements imposed by other federal or state laws, but does not in 
itself impose any such requirement.
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    \121\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(h). This proposed amendment is based 
on 23 NYCRR 500.16. The proposed amendment, however, requires the 
plan to address situations when customer information has been 
compromised, rather than a portion of the financial institution's 
information system. In addition, proposed section 314.4(h) does not 
require the incident response plan to address the continuing 
functionality of any aspect of the financial institution's business 
or operations, as continuity of operations is not relevant to 
Congress' mandate under the GLBA, which is to protect customer 
information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment 
should require that financial institutions report security events to 
the Commission. The Cybersecurity Regulations require covered entities 
to report security events to the superintendent of the Department of 
Financial Services, but the proposed rule does not have a similar 
provision. The Commission seeks comment on whether such a provision 
should be added and, if so, what the elements of such a provision 
should be. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on 1. the 
appropriate deadline for reporting security events after discovery; 2. 
whether all security events should require notification or whether 
notification should be required only under certain circumstances, such 
as a determination of a likelihood of harm to customers or that the 
event affects a certain number of customers; 3. whether such reports 
should be made public; 4. whether the events involving encrypted 
information should be included in the requirement; and 5. whether the 
requirement should allow law enforcement agencies to prevent or delay 
notification if notification would affect law-enforcement 
investigations.
    In addition to seeking comment on the content of the plan, the 
Commission seeks comment on whether the proposed amendment would 
conflict with breach notification or reporting laws already in 
existence. Some states have enacted breach notification laws that 
exempt companies that maintain breach response procedures that are 
compliant with certain federal regulations from having to meet the 
requirements of the state's breach notification law. For example, 
Delaware's breach notification law states:

    A person that is regulated by state or federal law, including . 
. . the Gramm Leach Bliley Act . . . and that maintains procedures 
for a breach of security pursuant to the laws, rules, regulations, 
guidance, or guidelines established by its primary or functional 
state or federal regulator is deemed to be in compliance with this 
chapter if the person notifies affected Delaware residents in 
accordance with the

[[Page 13170]]

maintained procedures when a breach of security occurs.\122\
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    \122\ Del. Code tit. 6, section 12B-103(b).

    The Commission seeks comment on whether the introduction of the 
proposed requirement for an incident response plan would cause 
financial institutions to be exempt from this, or similar, state breach 
notification laws, and if so, how this should affect the Commission's 
decision about whether to require an incident response plan in the 
Rule.\123\
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    \123\ The Commission is not proposing adding an independent 
breach notification to the Rule. A federal standard under GLB would 
be largely redundant because of state breach notification laws and 
because a requirement under the Rule would have limited effect, 
because the Commission cannot obtain civil penalties for violations 
of the Rule. The Commission, however, seeks comments on whether 
adding a breach notification requirement to the Rule would benefit 
consumers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Paragraph (i)

    Proposed paragraph (i) would require a financial institution's CISO 
to ``report in writing, at least annually, to [the financial 
institution's] board of directors or equivalent governing body'' 
regarding the following information: 1. The overall status of the 
information security program and financial institution's compliance 
with the Safeguards Rule; and 2. material matters related to the 
information security program, addressing issues such as risk 
assessment, risk management and control decisions, service provider 
arrangements, results of testing, security events or violations and 
management's responses thereto, and recommendations for changes in the 
information security program.\124\ For financial institutions that do 
not have a board of directors or equivalent, the CISO must make the 
report to a senior officer responsible for the financial institution's 
information security program. This amendment is designed to ensure that 
the governing body of the financial institution is engaged with and 
informed about the state of the financial institution's information 
security program. Likewise, an annual written report may create 
accountability for the CISO by requiring the CISO to set forth the 
status of information security program for the governing body. The 
Commission requests comment on whether the burden of a required annual 
report would outweigh the benefits, whether the report should have 
other required components, or whether particular components are 
unnecessary.
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    \124\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.4(i). This proposed amendment is based 
on 23 NYCRR 500.04(b), but borrows from the Model Law the 
requirements for the contents of the annual report. Model Law, 
Section E(2). The Commission believes the language from the Model 
Law is clearer and tied more directly to the requirements of the 
proposed amendments.
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    In addition, the Commission requests comments on whether the 
proposed rule should also require the Board or equivalent governing 
body to certify compliance with the Rule. The Commission seeks comment 
on whether such a requirement would appropriately increase the 
engagement of the governing body of the financial institution in the 
information security program or whether it would create too much burden 
on financial institutions to independently assess the program.
    The Commission also requests comment on how such a requirement 
would impact corporate governance; what precedents exist for federally-
mandated board reporting on specific management issues, and analyses of 
their efficacy; and what effect requiring reporting to the board or 
certification by it would have.

Proposed Amendments to Section 314.5: Effective Date

    This proposed amendment replaces the existing effective date of the 
Rule. In its place, this amendment provides that certain elements of 
the information security program would not be required until six months 
after the publication of a final rule rather than immediately upon 
publication. The paragraphs that would have a delayed effective date 
are: 314.4(a), related to the appointment of a CISO; 314.4(b)(1), 
relating to conducting a written risk assessment; 314.4(c)(1)-(10), 
setting forth the new elements of the information security program; 
314.4(d)(2), requiring continuous monitoring or annual penetration 
testing and biannual vulnerability assessment; 314.4(e), requiring 
training for personnel; 314.4(f)(3), requiring periodic assessment of 
service providers; 314.4(h), requiring a written incident response 
plan; and 314.4(i), requiring annual written reports from the CISO. The 
effective date of these elements would be delayed because financial 
institutions may need to take steps to bring their information security 
programs into compliance with these new requirements. All other 
requirements under the Safeguards Rule would remain in effect during 
this six-month period. The elements that would be required immediately 
upon publication are ones that are already required under the current 
Rule, such as the requirement to have a written security program 
(314.3(a)); to conduct a risk assessment (314.4(b)); to design and 
implement safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk 
assessment (314.4(c)); to regularly test or otherwise monitor the 
effectiveness of the safeguards' key controls, systems, and procedures 
(314.4(d)(1)); to oversee service providers at the onboarding stage 
(314.4(f)); and to evaluate and adjust the security program in light of 
the results of testing and monitoring (314.4(g)). These remaining 
requirements largely mirror the requirements of the existing Rule. The 
Commission requests comment on this approach.

Proposed Section 314.6: Exceptions

    Proposed section 314.6 is a new section that would exempt financial 
institutions that maintain relatively small amounts of customer 
information from certain requirements of the amended Safeguards Rule. 
The exceptions would apply to financial institutions that maintain 
customer information concerning fewer than five thousand 
consumers.\125\ Such financial institutions would not be required to 
comply with the following subsections: 314.4(b)(1), requiring a written 
risk assessment; 314.4(d)(2), requiring continuous monitoring or annual 
penetration testing and biannual vulnerability assessment; 314.4(h), 
requiring a written incident response plan; and 314.4(i), requiring an 
annual written report by the CISO. This proposed section is intended to 
reduce the burden on smaller financial institutions. The Commission 
believes that the paragraphs subject to this exemption are the ones 
that are most likely to cause undue burden on smaller financial 
institutions. For example, requiring continuous monitoring or a set 
schedule of testing might be too expensive, depending on the 
circumstances.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \125\ Proposed 16 CFR 314.6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The remaining sections of the amended Safeguards Rule would apply 
to these smaller financial institutions in the same way as other 
financial institutions. Exempted financial institutions would still 
need to conduct risk assessments (314.4(b)), design and implement a 
written information security program with the required elements (314.3 
and 314.4(c)), utilize qualified information security personnel and 
train employees (314.4(e)), monitor activity of authorized users 
(314.4(c)(10)), oversee service providers (314.4(f)), and evaluate and 
adjust their information security program (314.4(g)). The Commission 
seeks comment on whether such exceptions are appropriate or whether all 
financial institutions should be required to comply with all of the 
proposed amendments. The Commission also

[[Page 13171]]

seeks comment on whether the exempted paragraphs are appropriate. 
Finally, the Commission seeks comment on whether the use of the number 
of customers concerning whom the financial institution retains customer 
information is the most effective way to determine which financial 
institutions should be exempted and if so, whether five thousand is an 
appropriate number.

IV. Request for Comment

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 3, 2019. 
Write ``Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR part 314, Project No. 145407'' on the 
comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be 
placed on the public record of this proceeding, including the https://www.regulations.gov website.
    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comment online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://www.regulations.gov by 
following the instructions on the web-based form.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Safeguards Rule, 16 CFR 
part 314, Project No. P145407'' on your comment and on the envelope, 
and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, please submit your paper comment 
to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible 
website, https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for 
making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or 
confidential information. In particular, your comment should not 
include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone 
else's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number 
or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, 
passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card 
number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your 
comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as 
medical records or other individually identifiable health information. 
In addition, your comment should not include any ``trade secret or any 
commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or 
confidential,'' as provided by section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2), including in 
particular, competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is 
requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled 
``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, 
the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the 
comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and 
must identify the specific portions of the comments to be withheld from 
the public record.\126\ Your comment will be kept confidential only if 
the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law 
and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the 
www.regulations.gov website, we cannot redact or remove your comment 
from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that 
meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and 
the General Counsel grants that request.
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    \126\ See 16 CFR 4.9(c).
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    Visit the Commission website at https://www.ftc.gov to read this 
document and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before June 3, 2019. For information on the 
Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the 
Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

IV. Communications by Outside Parties to the Commissioners or Their 
Advisors

    Written communications and summaries or transcripts of oral 
communications respecting the merits of this proceeding, from any 
outside party to any Commissioner or Commissioner's advisor, will be 
placed on the public record.\127\
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    \127\ See 16 CFR 1.26(b)(5).
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V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (``PRA''), 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, 
requires federal agencies to seek and obtain OMB approval before 
undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more 
persons.\128\ A ``collection of information'' occurs when ten or more 
persons are asked to report, provide, disclose, or record information 
in response to ``identical questions.'' \129\ Applying these standards, 
neither the Safeguards Rule nor the proposed amendments constitute a 
``collection of information.'' \130\ The Rule calls upon affected 
financial institutions to develop or strengthen their information 
security programs in order to provide reasonable safeguards. Under the 
Rule, each financial institution's safeguards will vary according to 
its size and complexity, the nature and scope of its activities, and 
the sensitivity of the information involved. For example, a financial 
institution with numerous employees would develop and implement 
employee training and management procedures beyond those that would be 
appropriate or reasonable for a sole proprietorship, such as an 
individual tax preparer or mortgage broker. Similarly, a financial 
institution that shares customer information with numerous service 
providers would need to take steps to ensure that such information 
remains protected, while a financial institution with no service 
providers would not need to address this issue. Thus, although each 
financial institution must summarize its compliance efforts in one or 
more written documents, the discretionary balancing of factors and 
circumstances that the Rule allows--including the myriad operational 
differences among businesses that it contemplated--does not require 
entities to answer ``identical questions'' and therefore does not 
trigger the PRA's requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \128\ 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)(i).
    \129\ See 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A).
    \130\ See 67 FR 36484, 36491 (May 23, 2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed amendments would not change this analysis because they 
would retain the existing Rule's process-based approach, allowing 
financial institutions to tailor their programs to reflect the 
financial institutions' size, complexity, and operations, and to the 
sensitivity and amount of customer information they collect. For 
example, the proposed amendment to section 314.4(b) would require a 
written risk assessment, but each risk assessment will reflect the 
particular structure and operation of the financial institution and, 
though each assessment must include certain criteria, these are only 
general guidelines and do not consist of ``identical questions.'' 
Similarly, the proposed amendment to section 314.4(h), which would 
require a written

[[Page 13172]]

incident response plan, is only an extension of the preexisting 
requirement of a written information security plan and would 
necessarily vary significantly based on factors such as the financial 
institution's internal procedures, which officials within the financial 
institution have decision-making authority, how the financial 
institution communicates internally and externally, and the structure 
of the financial institution's information systems. Likewise, the 
proposed requirement for CISOs to produce annual reports under proposed 
section 314.4(i) does not consist of answers to identical questions, as 
the content of these reports would vary considerably between financial 
institutions and CISOs are given flexibility in deciding what to 
include in the reports.
    Finally, the proposed amendments that would modify the definition 
of ``financial institution'' to include ``activities incidental to 
financial activities'' and therefore bring finders under the scope of 
the Rule do not constitute a ``collection of information,'' and 
therefore would not trigger the PRA's requirements.

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires an 
agency to either provide an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
with a proposed rule, or certify that the proposed rule will not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.\131\ The 
Commission does not expect that this Rule, if adopted, would have the 
threshold impact on small entities. First, most of the burdens flow 
from the mandates of the Act, not from the specific provisions of the 
proposed Rule. Second, the proposed Rule imposes requirements that are 
scalable according to the size and complexity of each institution, the 
nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of its 
information. Thus, the burden is likely to be less on small 
institutions, to the extent that their operations are smaller or less 
complex. In addition, smaller entities are exempted from many 
requirements of the proposed amendments. Nonetheless, the Commission 
has determined that it is appropriate to publish an Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis in order to inquire into the impact of the 
proposed Rule on small entities. The Commission invites comment on the 
burden on any small entities that would now be covered, but previously 
were not covered, if the definition of ``financial institution'' is 
modified as proposed, and the burden on small entities created by the 
other proposed amendments. The Commission has prepared the following 
analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \131\ 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Reasons for the Proposed Rule

    The Commission proposes to make the rule clearer by including a 
definition of ``financial institution'' and related examples in the 
Safeguards Rule rather than cross-referencing them from the Privacy 
Rule. The Commission also proposes expanding the definition of 
``financial institution'' in the Rule to include entities that are 
engaged in activities that are incidental to financial activities. This 
change would bring ``finders'' within the scope of the Rule. This 
change would harmonize the Rule with other agencies' rules and would 
require finders that collect consumers' sensitive financial information 
to comply with the Safeguards Rule's process-based approach to protect 
that data.
    In addition, the Commission proposes to modify the Safeguards Rule 
to include more detailed requirements for the information security 
program required by the Rule. The Rule would continue to be process-
based and flexible based on the financial institution's size and 
complexity. The Commission does propose to exempt smaller institutions 
from certain requirements that require additional written product and 
might pose a greater burden on smaller entities.

2. Statement of Objectives and Legal Basis

    The objectives of the proposed Rule are discussed above. The legal 
basis for the proposed rule is section 501(b) of the GLBA.

3. Description of Small Entities to Which the Rule Will Apply

    Determining a precise estimate of the number of small entities 
\132\--including newly covered entities under the modified definition 
of financial institution--is not readily feasible. Financial 
institutions already covered by the existing Rule include lenders, 
financial advisors, loan brokers and servicers, collection agencies, 
financial advisors, tax preparers, and real estate settlement services, 
to the extent that they have ``customer information'' within the 
meaning of the Rule. If the proposed Rule is finalized, finders will 
also be covered. However, it is not known whether any finders are small 
entities, and if so, how many there are. The Commission requests 
comment and information on the number of ``finders'' that would be 
covered by the Rule's modified definition of ``financial institution,'' 
and how many of those finders, if any, are small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \132\ The U.S. Small Business Administration Table of Small 
Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry 
Classification System Codes (``NAICS'') are generally expressed in 
either millions of dollars or number of employees. A size standard 
is the largest that a business can be and still qualify as a small 
business for Federal Government programs. For the most part, size 
standards are the annual receipts or the average employment of a 
firm. Depending on the nature of the financial services an 
institution provides, the size standard varies. By way of example, 
mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers (NAICS code 522310) are 
classified as small if their annual receipts are $7.5 million or 
less. Consumer lending institutions (NAICS code 52291) are 
classified as small if their annual receipts are $38.5 million or 
less. Commercial banking and savings institutions (NAICS codes 
522110 and 522120) are classified as small if their assets are $550 
million or less. Assets are determined by averaging the assets 
reported on its four quarterly financial statements for the 
preceding year. The 2017 Table of Small Business Size Standards is 
available at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table_2017.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements

    The proposed Rule does not impose any reporting or any specific 
recordkeeping requirements within the meaning of the PRA, as discussed 
herein.
    With regard to other compliance requirements, the proposed addition 
of definitions and examples from the Privacy Rule is not expected to 
have an impact on covered financial institutions, including those that 
may be small entities, if any. (The preceding section of this analysis 
discusses classes of covered financial institutions that may qualify as 
small entities.) The proposed addition of ``finders'' to the definition 
of financial institutions will impose the obligations of the Rule on 
entities that engage in ``finding'' activity and also collect customer 
information. The proposed addition of more detailed requirements may 
require some financial institutions to perform additional risk 
assessments, monitoring, or to create additional safeguards as set 
forth in the proposed Rule. These obligations will require employees or 
third-party service providers with skills in information security, but 
the Commission believes that most financial institutions will have 
already complied with many parts of the proposed rule as part of their 
information security programs already required under the existing Rule. 
There may be additional related compliance costs (e.g., legal, new 
equipment or systems, modifications to policies or procedures), but in 
the absence of supporting data,

[[Page 13173]]

the Commission is unable to provide a complete or specific cost 
estimate. The Commission invites comment on the costs of the amended 
Rule for small entities to comply and to newly covered financial 
institutions (finders) of establishing and operating an information 
security program for such entities, to the extent, if any, they are 
small entities.

5. Identification of Duplicative, Overlapping, or Conflicting Federal 
Rules

    As mentioned above, the Commission is proposing to incorporate the 
definition of ``financial institution'' and the accompanying examples 
from the Privacy Rule to the Safeguards Rule. This modification will 
have no substantive effect on the scope of the Rule or its enforcement. 
The change is designed only to increase the clarity of the Rule. The 
Commission believes that incorporating this definition will not cause 
any additional burden on covered entities. Separately, as also noted 
above, the Commission proposes to revise the definition of ``financial 
institution'' to cover finders. The Commission is requesting comment on 
the extent to which other federal standards involving privacy or 
security or information may duplicate and/or satisfy or possibly 
conflict with the Rule's requirements for newly covered financial 
institutions.
    The Commission is also proposing amending the Rule to include more 
detailed requirements for the written information security plan 
required by the Rule. The Commission does not believe that the proposed 
amendments would conflict with any existing data security regulations, 
such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
Security Rule.\133\ The Commission is requesting comment on the extent 
to which other federal standards involving privacy or security or 
information may duplicate and/or satisfy or possibly conflict with the 
proposed amendments to the Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \133\ 45 CFR part 160; 45 CFR part 164, subparts A and C.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Discussion of Significant Alternatives

    The standards in the proposed Rule allow a small financial 
institution to develop an information security program that is 
appropriate to its size and complexity, the nature and scope of its 
activities, and the sensitivity of any customer information at issue. 
The Commission is proposing to include certain design standards (e.g., 
a company must implement encryption, authentication, incident response) 
in the Rule, in addition to the performance standards (reasonable 
security) that the Rule currently uses. As discussed, while these 
design standards may introduce some additional burden, the Commission 
believes that the additional burden will be minimal, as most 
information security programs under the Rule already meet most of these 
requirements. In addition, the proposed requirements are still designed 
to allow financial institutions flexibility in how and whether they 
should be implemented. For example, the requirement that encryption be 
used to protect customer information in transit and at rest may be met 
with effective alternative compensating controls if they are infeasible 
for a given financial institution.
    In addition, the Proposed Rule exempts financial institutions that 
maintain relatively small amounts of customer information from certain 
requirements of the amended Safeguards Rule. The exceptions would apply 
to financial institutions that maintain customer information concerning 
fewer than five thousand consumers. The Commission believes that 
exempted financial institutions will generally be small entities. Such 
financial institutions would not be required to perform a written risk 
assessment, conduct continuous monitoring or annual penetration testing 
and biannual vulnerability assessment, prepare a written incident 
response plan, or prepare an annual written report by the CISO. These 
proposed exemptions are intended to reduce the burden on smaller 
financial institutions. The Commission believes that the obligations 
subject to this exemption are the ones that are most likely to cause 
undue burden on smaller financial institutions.
    Exempted financial institutions will still need to conduct risk 
assessments, design and implement a written information security 
program with the required elements, utilize qualified information 
security personnel and train employee, monitor activity of authorized 
users, oversee service providers, and evaluate and adjust their 
information security program. These are core obligations under the Rule 
that any financial institution that collects customer information must 
meet, regardless of size.
    The Commission welcomes comment on any significant alternative 
consistent with the GLBA that would minimize the impact on small 
entities of these proposed amendments, including institutions that 
would be newly covered under the amended definition of ``financial 
institution.''

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 314

    Consumer protection, Credit, Data protection, Privacy, Trade 
practices.

    For the reasons stated above, the Federal Trade Commission proposes 
to amend 16 CFR part 314 as follows:

PART 314--STANDARDS FOR SAFEGUARDING CUSTOMER INFORMATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 314 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 6801(b), 6805(b)(2).

0
2. Revise Sec.  314.1(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  314.1   Purpose and scope.

* * * * *
    (b) Scope. This part applies to the handling of customer 
information by all financial institutions over which the Federal Trade 
Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') has jurisdiction. Namely, this 
part applies to those ``financial institutions'' over which the 
Commission has rulemaking authority pursuant to section 501(b) of the 
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. An entity is a ``financial institution'' if its 
business is engaging in an activity that is financial in nature or 
incidental to such financial activities as described in section 4(k) of 
the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k), which cross-
references activities enumerated by the Federal Reserve Board in 12 CFR 
225.28 and 12 CFR 225.86. The ``financial institutions'' subject to the 
Commission's enforcement authority are those that are not otherwise 
subject to the enforcement authority of another regulator under Section 
505 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6805. More specifically, 
those entities include, but are not limited to, mortgage lenders, ``pay 
day'' lenders, finance companies, mortgage brokers, account servicers, 
check cashers, wire transferors, travel agencies operated in connection 
with financial services, collection agencies, credit counselors and 
other financial advisors, tax preparation firms, non-federally insured 
credit unions, investment advisors that are not required to register 
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and entities acting as 
finders. They are referred to in this part as ``You.'' This part 
applies to all customer information in your possession, regardless of 
whether such information pertains to individuals with whom you have a 
customer relationship, or pertains to the customers of other financial 
institutions that have provided such information to you.
0
3. Revise Sec.  314.2 to read as follows:

[[Page 13174]]

Sec.  314.2   Definitions.

    (a) In general. Except as modified by this part or unless the 
context otherwise requires, the terms used in this part have the same 
meaning as set forth in the Commission's rule governing the Privacy of 
Consumer Financial Information, 16 CFR part 313.
    (b) Authorized user means any employee, contractor, agent, or other 
person that participates in your business operations and is authorized 
to access and use any of your information systems and data.
    (c) Security event means an event resulting in unauthorized access 
to, or disruption or misuse of, an information system or information 
stored on such information system.
    (d) Customer information means any record containing nonpublic 
personal information, as defined in 16 CFR 313.3(n), about a customer 
of a financial institution, whether in paper, electronic, or other 
form, that is handled or maintained by or on behalf of you or your 
affiliates.
    (e) Encryption means the transformation of data into a form that 
results in a low probability of assigning meaning without the use of a 
protective process or key.
    (f)(1) Financial institution means any institution the business of 
which is engaging in an activity that is financial in nature or 
incidental to such financial activities as described in section 4(k) of 
the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k). An institution 
that is significantly engaged in financial activities, or significantly 
engaged in activities incidental to such financial activities, is a 
financial institution.
    (2) Examples of financial institutions. (i) A retailer that extends 
credit by issuing its own credit card directly to consumers is a 
financial institution because extending credit is a financial activity 
listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(1) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of 
the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F), and issuing that 
extension of credit through a proprietary credit card demonstrates that 
a retailer is significantly engaged in extending credit.
    (ii) An automobile dealership that, as a usual part of its 
business, leases automobiles on a nonoperating basis for longer than 90 
days is a financial institution with respect to its leasing business 
because leasing personal property on a nonoperating basis where the 
initial term of the lease is at least 90 days is a financial activity 
listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(3) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of 
the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (iii) A personal property or real estate appraiser is a financial 
institution because real and personal property appraisal is a financial 
activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(2)(i) and referenced in section 
4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (iv) A career counselor that specializes in providing career 
counseling services to individuals currently employed by or recently 
displaced from a financial organization, individuals who are seeking 
employment with a financial organization, or individuals who are 
currently employed by or seeking placement with the finance, accounting 
or audit departments of any company is a financial institution because 
such career counseling activities are financial activities listed in 12 
CFR 225.28(b)(9)(iii) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank 
Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (v) A business that prints and sells checks for consumers, either 
as its sole business or as one of its product lines, is a financial 
institution because printing and selling checks is a financial activity 
that is listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(10)(ii) and referenced in section 
4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (vi) A business that regularly wires money to and from consumers is 
a financial institution because transferring money is a financial 
activity referenced in section 4(k)(4)(A) of the Bank Holding Company 
Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(A), and regularly providing that service 
demonstrates that the business is significantly engaged in that 
activity.
    (vii) A check cashing business is a financial institution because 
cashing a check is exchanging money, which is a financial activity 
listed in section 4(k)(4)(A) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 
1843(k)(4)(A).
    (viii) An accountant or other tax preparation service that is in 
the business of completing income tax returns is a financial 
institution because tax preparation services is a financial activity 
listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(6)(vi) and referenced in section 4(k)(4)(G) 
of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(G).
    (ix) A business that operates a travel agency in connection with 
financial services is a financial institution because operating a 
travel agency in connection with financial services is a financial 
activity listed in 12 CFR 225.86(b)(2) and referenced in section 
4(k)(4)(G) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(G).
    (x) An entity that provides real estate settlement services is a 
financial institution because providing real estate settlement services 
is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(2)(viii) and 
referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 
U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (xi) A mortgage broker is a financial institution because brokering 
loans is a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 225.28(b)(1) and 
referenced in section 4(k)(4)(F) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 
U.S.C. 1843(k)(4)(F).
    (xii) An investment advisory company and a credit counseling 
service are each financial institutions because providing financial and 
investment advisory services are financial activities referenced in 
section 4(k)(4)(C) of the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 
1843(k)(4)(C).
    (xiii) A company acting as a finder in bringing together one or 
more buyers and sellers of any product or service for transactions that 
the parties themselves negotiate and consummate is a financial 
institution because acting as a finder is an activity that is financial 
in nature or incidental to a financial activity listed in 12 CFR 
225.86(d)(1).
    (3) Financial institution does not include:
    (i) Any person or entity with respect to any financial activity 
that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading 
Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.);
    (ii) The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation or any entity 
chartered and operating under the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (12 U.S.C. 
2001 et seq.);
    (iii) Institutions chartered by Congress specifically to engage in 
securitizations, secondary market sales (including sales of servicing 
rights) or similar transactions related to a transaction of a consumer, 
as long as such institutions do not sell or transfer nonpublic personal 
information to a nonaffiliated third party other than as permitted by 
sections 313.14 and 313.15; or
    (iv) Entities that engage in financial activities but that are not 
significantly engaged in those financial activities, and entities that 
engage in activities incidental to financial activities but that are 
not significantly engaged in activities incidental to financial 
activities.
    (4) Examples of entities that are not significantly engaged in 
financial activities.
    (i) A retailer is not a financial institution if its only means of 
extending credit are occasional ``lay away'' and deferred payment plans 
or accepting payment by means of credit cards issued by others.

[[Page 13175]]

    (ii) A retailer is not a financial institution merely because it 
accepts payment in the form of cash, checks, or credit cards that it 
did not issue.
    (iii) A merchant is not a financial institution merely because it 
allows an individual to ``run a tab.''
    (iv) A grocery store is not a financial institution merely because 
it allows individuals to whom it sells groceries to cash a check, or 
write a check for a higher amount than the grocery purchase and obtain 
cash in return.
    (g) Information security program means the administrative, 
technical, or physical safeguards you use to access, collect, 
distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or 
otherwise handle customer information.
    (h) Information system means a discrete set of electronic 
information resources organized for the collection, processing, 
maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination or disposition of electronic 
information, as well as any specialized system such as industrial/
process controls systems, telephone switching and private branch 
exchange systems, and environmental controls systems.
    (i) Multi-factor authentication means authentication through 
verification of at least two of the following types of authentication 
factors:
    (1) Knowledge factors, such as a password;
    (2) Possession factors, such as a token; or
    (3) Inherence factors, such as biometric characteristics.
    (j) Penetration testing means a test methodology in which assessors 
attempt to circumvent or defeat the security features of an information 
system by attempting penetration of databases or controls from outside 
or inside your information systems.
    (k) Service provider means any person or entity that receives, 
maintains, processes, or otherwise is permitted access to customer 
information through its provision of services directly to a financial 
institution that is subject to this part.
0
4. Revise Sec.  314.3(a) as follows:


Sec.  314.3  Standards for safeguarding customer information.

    (a) Information security program. You shall develop, implement, and 
maintain a comprehensive information security program that is written 
in one or more readily accessible parts and contains administrative, 
technical, and physical safeguards that are appropriate to your size 
and complexity, the nature and scope of your activities, and the 
sensitivity of any customer information at issue. The information 
security program shall include the elements set forth in section 314.4 
and shall be reasonably designed to achieve the objectives of this 
part, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
* * * * *
0
5. Revise Sec.  314.4 as follows:


Sec.  314.4   Elements.

    In order to develop, implement, and maintain your information 
security program, you shall:
    (a) Designate a qualified individual responsible for overseeing and 
implementing your information security program and enforcing your 
information security program (for purposes of this part, ``Chief 
Information Security Officer'' or ``CISO''). The CISO may be employed 
by you, an affiliate, or a service provider. To the extent this 
requirement is met using a service provider or an affiliate, you shall:
    (1) Retain responsibility for compliance with this part;
    (2) Designate a senior member of your personnel responsible for 
direction and oversight of the CISO; and
    (3) Require the service provider or affiliate to maintain an 
information security program that protects you in accordance with the 
requirements of this Part.
    (b) Base your information security program on a risk assessment 
that identifies reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to 
the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information 
that could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, 
destruction or other compromise of such information, and assesses the 
sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks.
    (1) The risk assessment shall be written and shall include:
    (i) Criteria for the evaluation and categorization of identified 
security risks or threats you face;
    (ii) Criteria for the assessment of the confidentiality, integrity, 
and availability of your information systems and customer information, 
including the adequacy of the existing controls in the context of the 
identified risks or threats you face; and
    (iii) Requirements describing how identified risks will be 
mitigated or accepted based on the risk assessment and how the 
information security program will address the risks.
    (2) You shall periodically perform additional risk assessments that 
reexamine the reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to the 
security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information that 
could result in the unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, 
destruction or other compromise of such information, and reassess the 
sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks.
    (c) Design and implement safeguards to control the risks you 
identity through risk assessment, including:
    (1) Place access controls on information systems, including 
controls to authenticate and permit access only to authorized 
individuals to protect against the unauthorized acquisition of customer 
information and to periodically review such access controls;
    (2) Identify and manage the data, personnel, devices, systems, and 
facilities that enable you to achieve business purposes in accordance 
with their relative importance to business objectives and your risk 
strategy;
    (3) Restrict access at physical locations containing customer 
information only to authorized individuals;
    (4) Protect by encryption all customer information held or 
transmitted by you both in transit over external networks and at rest. 
To the extent you determine that encryption of customer information, 
either in transit over external networks or at rest, is infeasible, you 
may instead secure such customer information using effective 
alternative compensating controls reviewed and approved by your CISO;
    (5) Adopt secure development practices for in-house developed 
applications utilized by you for transmitting, accessing, or storing 
customer information and procedures for evaluating, assessing, or 
testing the security of externally developed applications you utilize 
to transmit, access, or store customer information;
    (6) Implement multi-factor authentication for any individual 
accessing customer information. Multi-factor authentication shall be 
utilized for any individual accessing your internal networks that 
contain customer information, unless your CISO has approved in writing 
the use of reasonably equivalent or more secure access controls;
    (7) Include audit trails within the information security program 
designed to detect and respond to security events;
    (8) Develop, implement, and maintain procedures for the secure 
disposal of customer information in any format that is no longer 
necessary for business operations or for other legitimate business 
purposes, except where such information is otherwise required to be 
retained by law or regulation, or where targeted disposal is not 
reasonably

[[Page 13176]]

feasible due to the manner in which the information is maintained;
    (9) Adopt procedures for change management; and
    (10) Implement policies, procedures and controls designed to 
monitor the activity of authorized users and detect unauthorized access 
or use of, or tampering with, customer information by such users.
    (d)(1) Regularly test or otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the 
safeguards' key controls, systems, and procedures, including those to 
detect actual and attempted attacks on, or intrusions into, information 
systems.
    (2) The monitoring and testing shall include continuous monitoring 
or periodic penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. Absent 
effective continuous monitoring or other systems to detect, on an 
ongoing basis, changes in information systems that may create 
vulnerabilities, you shall conduct:
    (i) Annual penetration testing of your information systems 
determined each given year based on relevant identified risks in 
accordance with the risk assessment; and
    (ii) Biannual vulnerability assessments, including any systemic 
scans or reviews of information systems reasonably designed to identify 
publicly known security vulnerabilities in your information systems 
based on the risk assessment.
    (e) Implement policies and procedures to ensure that personnel are 
able to enact your information security program by:
    (1) Providing your personnel with security awareness training that 
is updated to reflect risks identified by the risk assessment;
    (2) Utilizing qualified information security personnel employed by 
you or an affiliate or service provider sufficient to manage your 
information security risks and to perform or oversee the information 
security program;
    (3) Providing information security personnel with security updates 
and training sufficient to address relevant security risks; and
    (4) Verifying that key information security personnel take steps to 
maintain current knowledge of changing information security threats and 
countermeasures.
    (f) Oversee service providers, by:
    (1) Taking reasonable steps to select and retain service providers 
that are capable of maintaining appropriate safeguards for the customer 
information at issue;
    (2) Requiring your service providers by contract to implement and 
maintain such safeguards; and
    (3) Periodically assessing your service providers based on the risk 
they present and the continued adequacy of their safeguards.
    (g) Evaluate and adjust your information security program in light 
of the results of the testing and monitoring required by paragraph (d) 
of this section; any material changes to your operations or business 
arrangements; the results of risk assessments performed under paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section; or any other circumstances that you know or 
have reason to know may have a material impact on your information 
security program;
    (h) Establish a written incident response plan designed to promptly 
respond to, and recover from, any security event materially affecting 
the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of customer information 
in your possession. Such incident response plan shall address the 
following areas:
    (1) The goals of the incident response plan;
    (2) The internal processes for responding to a security event;
    (3) The definition of clear roles, responsibilities and levels of 
decision-making authority;
    (4) External and internal communications and information sharing;
    (5) Identification of requirements for the remediation of any 
identified weaknesses in information systems and associated controls;
    (6) Documentation and reporting regarding security events and 
related incident response activities; and
    (7) The evaluation and revision as necessary of the incident 
response plan following a security event.
    (i) Require your CISO to report in writing, at least annually, to 
your board of directors or equivalent governing body. If no such board 
of directors or equivalent governing body exists, such report shall be 
timely presented to a senior officer responsible for your information 
security program. The report shall include the following information:
    (1) The overall status of the information security program and your 
compliance with this Rule; and
    (2) Material matters related to the information security program, 
addressing issues such as risk assessment, risk management and control 
decisions, service provider arrangements, results of testing, security 
events or violations and management's responses thereto, and 
recommendations for changes in the information security program.
0
6. Revise Sec.  314.5 to read as follows:


Sec.  314.5  Effective date.

    Sections 314.4(a), 314.4(b)(1), 314.4(c)(1)-(10), 314.4(d)(2), 
314.4(e), 314.4(f)(3), 314.4(h), and 314.4(i) are effective as of [six 
months after publication of the final rule].
0
7. Add Sec.  314.6, to read as follows:


Sec.  314.6   Exceptions.

    Sections 314.4(b)(1), 314.4(d)(2), 314.4(h), and 314.4(i) do not 
apply to financial institutions that maintain customer information 
concerning fewer than five thousand consumers.

    By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Phillips and 
Commissioner Wilson dissenting.
April J. Tabor,
Acting Secretary.

[Note: The following Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Noah 
Joshua Phillips and Commissioner Christine S. Wilson will not appear 
in the Code of Federal Regulations.]

Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips and 
Commissioner Christine S. Wilson

March 5, 2019

    Today the Commission seeks public comment on a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (``NPRM'') to change the Standards for 
Safeguarding Customer Information (``Safeguards Rule'' or ``Rule'') 
under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (``GLBA''). Recent high-profile 
data breaches underscore the importance of effective data security, 
which is why we strongly support the Commission's renewed calls for 
federal data security legislation.\1\ We also share this 
Administration's goal of reducing regulation and controlling 
compliance costs. Any new regulation, even regarding a critical 
issue like data security, must be handled with care to avoid 
stifling innovation or entrenching incumbents.
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    \1\ See Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission: Hearing 
Before the Subcomm. on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, 
Insurance, and Data Security of the S. Comm. on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation, 115th Cong. 7 (2018) (statement of the Federal 
Trade Commission) (``The Commission continues to reiterate its 
longstanding bipartisan call for comprehensive data security 
legislation.''); Federal Trade Commission Staff, Comment to the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration on 
Developing the Administration's Approach to Consumer Privacy (Nov. 
9, 2018), https://www.ftc.gov/policy/advocacy/advocacy-filings/2018/11/ftc-staff-comment-ntia-developing-administrations-approach.
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    Congress mandated data security and privacy for financial 
institutions in the GLBA and, for the past two decades, it has been 
the Commission's responsibility to set forth the regulations 
implementing those requirements. The Rule as written provides 
direction to financial institutions on how to protect data 
security--importantly, while not being overly prescriptive--in an 
area where standards continuously evolve. The current proposal, 
however, trades flexibility for a more prescriptive approach, 
potentially

[[Page 13177]]

handicapping smaller players or newer entrants.\2\
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    \2\ See, e.g., William A. Brock & David S. Evans, The Economics 
of Regulatory Tiering, 16 Rand J. Econ. 398, 399 (1985) 
(``[I]mposing uniform regulatory requirements across all types of 
businesses has a disparate impact on smaller businesses because 
there are scale economies in regulatory compliance. Scale economies 
may arise because there are fixed costs of complying with 
regulations. Larger businesses can average these fixed costs over a 
larger quantity of output and thereby achieve a competitive 
advantage over their smaller rivals. [] ] There is evidence that 
scale economies in compliance are quite extensive for some 
regulatory requirements.'') (citations omitted).
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    As part of our regular process of regulatory review, the 
Commission first sought comments on updating the Safeguards Rule in 
September 2016.\3\ When asked about the need for more specific 
requirements, commenters generally asked to leave the Rule in place, 
and to avoid more prescriptive regulation. Privacy advocates and an 
association owned by the largest commercial banks sought more 
detailed requirements.\4\ Based on that record, and the adoption of 
several new state laws and regulations regarding data security of 
financial institutions, the Commission today proposes the latter 
course.
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    \3\ Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, 81 FR 61632 
(Sept. 7, 2016) (to be codified at 16 CFR part 314). Comments are 
posted at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/2016/10/initiative-674. The Commission has assigned each comment a number.
    \4\ Electronic Privacy Information Center, Comment Letter #30 on 
the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Nov. 7, 2016); 
The Clearing House Association LLC, Comment Letter #35 on the 
Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Nov. 21, 2016).
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    This approach concerns us for several reasons. First, some of 
the specific proposals track shortcomings the Commission has 
identified in its data security enforcement cases and 
investigations. Not all of these shortcomings concern firms covered 
by the Safeguards Rule and, in any event, they may not represent a 
broader trend that warrants a regulatory response. Therefore, it may 
not be appropriate to mandate such prescriptive standards for all 
market participants. To the extent that the Commission thinks it is 
appropriate to elucidate the regulation's reasonable care 
requirements, we have tools at our disposal--including speeches, 
testimony, analyses to aid public comment, information about the 
factors the Commission considered when closing investigations, and 
reports. Commentary like this can help financial institutions weigh 
whether precautions are reasonable based on the risks associated 
with how they use, collect, and store data, without imposing a one-
size-fits-all approach. The question to be answered here is whether 
the existing Safeguards Rule, which addresses the protection of 
financial information, is inadequate to that purpose. Also important 
is the question of how firms governed by the Rule operate relative 
to ones in sectors that are not so governed.
    Second, the proposed regulations may be premature for two 
reasons. They are based in substantial part on regulations 
promulgated two years ago by the New York State Department of 
Financial Services.\5\ We do not have data about the impact and 
efficacy of those regulations, so whether to adopt a version of them 
at the federal level and whether that version should be a floor for 
or should preempt state-level rules seem like questions worthy of 
more study. Right now, Congress and the Executive Branch, including 
the leadership of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over 
financial institutions, are discussing potential privacy and data 
security legislation. The NPRM seeks comment on issues that are 
implicated in this debate, as well as issues not addressed in the 
New York rule, like data minimization/elimination and requiring a 
legitimate business justification for collecting data in the first 
instance. These topics in particular take us into a broader debate 
that belongs--and is being had--in Congress.5 6
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    \5\ Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies, 
23 NYCRR 500, et seq. (2016).
    \6\ Press Release, S. Comm. on Banking Housing, and Urban 
Affairs, Crapo, Brown Invite Feedback on Data Privacy, Protection 
and Collection (Feb 13, 2019), https://www.banking.senate.gov/newsroom/majority/crapo-brown-invite-feedback-on-data-privacy-protection-and-collection.
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    Third, the Safeguards Rule today is a flexible approach, 
appropriate to a company's size and complexity. This proposal would 
move us away from that approach. There are direct costs for enhanced 
precautions, but this record does not demonstrate that those costs 
will significantly reduce data security risks or significantly 
increase consumer benefits. The expansion of the Rule could create 
traps for the unwary, especially small and innovative businesses. 
Further, large incumbents can often absorb regulatory compliance 
costs more effectively than new entrants or smaller players, 
potentially decreasing competition. The proposed precautions, either 
individually or in the aggregate, may constitute best practices for 
certain firms. But the proliferation of procedural, technical, and 
governance requirements may have the unintended consequence of 
diluting core data security measures undertaken pursuant to the 
existing Safeguards Rule.
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    \7\ See Brock and Evans, supra note 2.
    \8\ Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (proposed 
Mar. 5, 2019) (16 CFR part 314.4(i)) (requiring that Chief 
Information Security Officer (``CISO'') report in writing, at least 
annually, to board of directors or equivalent about the overall 
status and material matters related to the information security 
program based on the assumption that ``such reports will not be 
overly burdensome [because] . . . required information can be 
gathered throughout the year as part of managing the information 
security program and satisfying the other requirements of the 
proposed amendments.'') (quoting proposed NPRM).
    \9\ Id. at 314.4(e) (requiring the hiring of qualified and 
sufficient personnel, continuous training for key personnel, and 
verification of training).
    \10\ Id. at 314.4(a)(1) (prohibiting companies from designating 
more than one employee to coordinate information security programs 
and instead requiring the designation of ``a single qualified 
individual'' (CISO)); Id. at 314.4(a)(2) (requiring oversight of 
CISO by appropriate senior member of personnel); Id. at 314.4(h) 
(requiring a written incident response plan).
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    Finally, the NPRM proposes that the Commission substitute its 
own judgment for a private firm's governance decisions, including 
but not limited to the appropriate level of board engagement, hiring 
and training requirements, and program accountability structures. 
Data security is important, without doubt. In our enforcement and 
legislative advocacy, we focus a great deal on it. But take, for 
example, board engagement on data security. Whether and to what 
extent it should command the regular attention and personal 
liability of a company's board is precisely the kind of question 
firms are in a better position to evaluate than federal regulators. 
Other matters may be more important, including to the nation at 
large. A decade ago, our economy was brought low by what many view 
as improper risk assessment by financial institutions of their 
assets and liabilities. Maybe we want boards of financial 
institutions to spend more time assessing those risks. The point 
isn't that the answer is easy--the point is that we may not be the 
best qualified to supply it.
    This is an NPRM, and the Commission is merely proposing new 
regulation and soliciting views on its impact. But we are also aware 
that the momentum behind an NPRM regularly results in the 
promulgation of new or revised rules. While the Commission is not 
making a final determination today, we are concerned that the 
specific suggestions herein will frame the debate so as to take the 
Commission in a direction that may be unwarranted (particularly 
given the prospect of legislation), and which may have negative 
repercussions. A review of the Safeguards Rule, especially in light 
of new legal developments, is warranted. But we should go where the 
evidence today leads us. We would strongly encourage those in 
industry, academia, and civil society with expertise in these areas 
to comment and provide evidence on this proposal.
    For these reasons, we dissent.

[FR Doc. 2019-04981 Filed 4-3-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P