SEC + Solarwinds CISO

SEC + Solarwinds CISO
Photo by YODA Adaman / Unsplash

The article from Dark Reading discusses the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) enforcement action against SolarWinds following the high-profile cyberattack that affected the company in 2020. The SEC's action is seen as a warning to Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) that they could be held responsible for cybersecurity failures.

CISOs Beware: SEC’s SolarWinds Action Shows They’re Scapegoating Us
In a rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape, CISOs must take proactive measures to safeguard their careers and mitigate risks associated with their roles.

Here are the key points from the article:

  1. SEC's Enforcement Action: The SEC has charged SolarWinds with inadequate disclosure controls and procedures related to its cybersecurity risks and incidents. This action is part of the SEC's broader effort to ensure that public companies adequately inform investors about cybersecurity risks and incidents.
  2. Implications for CISOs: The SEC's action against SolarWinds is a clear indication that CISOs could be held accountable for cybersecurity breaches. The article warns CISOs that they could be scapegoated for such incidents, even if they have been advocating for better security practices within their organizations.
  3. Challenges for CISOs: CISOs often face challenges in getting sufficient resources and support from their organizations to implement effective cybersecurity measures. Despite these challenges, the SEC's action suggests that CISOs could still be held responsible for cyberattacks.
  4. Advice for CISOs: The article advises CISOs to ensure that they have robust cybersecurity measures in place and to document their efforts to secure their organizations. It also suggests that CISOs should be prepared to demonstrate their due diligence in cybersecurity to avoid being scapegoated in the event of a breach.
  5. Broader Impact: The SEC's action is expected to have a broader impact on the cybersecurity industry, potentially leading to increased scrutiny of companies' cybersecurity practices and disclosures.

The article emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in cybersecurity, highlighting the potential legal and reputational risks that CISOs face in the current regulatory environment. It serves as a cautionary tale for CISOs to be proactive in managing cybersecurity risks and to ensure that their efforts are well-documented and communicated to their organizations' leadership and investors.