SEC cyber unit has busy 2018

SEC cyber unit has busy 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission's new cyber unit has been busy, bringing 20 standalone cases, including those against ICOs and digital assets, in 2018, with more than 225 investigations ongoing.

The unit was set up in late 2017 to tackle cyber-related misconduct, especially the emerging threat surrounding ICOs and digital assets.

In its first full year, it has taken on a range of cases, including a broker dealer and investment advisor which compromised the personal information of thousands of customers through cybersecurity policy failures.

But it is the ICO phenomenon which has kept the SEC most busy, as it struggles to balance the need to protect investors against the risk of stifling innovation.

This has seen the unit use different tools in its armour, ranging from public statements designed to send messages to potential culprits to the suspension of trading in the stock of over a dozen publicly traded issuers because of questions concerning the accuracy of assertions regarding their investments in ICOs and the operation of cryptocurrency platforms.

Meanwhile, the SEC has made the accuracy of cyber-related disclosures a "significant priority", noting its order against Yahoo!, which saw a $35 million penalty for the firm's failures in response to its massive data breach.

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