Sean Hoar

Sean Hoar

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

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Latest Publications


Pardon the “Intrusion” – Cybersecurity Worries Scuttle Wassenaar Changes

Companies concerned about their cybersecurity posture can breathe a small sigh of relief, as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently announced it was scrapping plans to implement new...more

9/8/2015 - BIS Cross-Border Cyber Threats Cybersecurity Data Protection Data Security EAR Export Administration Regulations Export Controls Google Hewlett-Packard Internet Privacy Intrusion Software Multinationals Popular U.S. Commerce Department

DoD New Cyber Security Reporting Rules for Contractors

In a move that highlights the changing winds of federal cybersecurity policy, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) has issued an interim Rule (“Rule”) that imposes new security and reporting requirements on federal contractors,...more

9/1/2015 - Breach Notification Rule Cloud Computing Controlled Unclassified Information Cybersecurity Data Protection Data Security DFARS DOD Federal Acquisition Regulations Federal Contractors Government Contractors Interim Rule NDAA NIST Popular Reporting Requirements

Higher Education Institutions Increasingly Falling Victim to Cyberattacks

Higher education institutions are treasure troves for hackers. Colleges and universities are huge repositories of research data, sensitive information for large populations of applicants and enrolled students (personal,...more

7/29/2015 - Cyber Attacks Cyber Crimes Cybersecurity Data Breach Educational Institutions Hackers NIST

FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North...more

7/28/2015 - CIP Compliance Cyber Attacks Cyber Crimes Cybersecurity DOE Electricity Energy Sector Federal Power Act FERC Laptop Computers Malware NERC NIST NOPR

Connecticut Imposes New Data Security Obligations

New law will require consumer breach notice within 90 days, identity theft protection for consumers,“kill switch” for smartphones, and implementation of data security programs for certain health providers, state agencies and...more

7/14/2015 - Compliance Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Protection Data Security Healthcare Identity Theft Notification Requirements Personally Identifiable Information State Contractors

2015 Data Breach Legislation Six Month Review: Many Proposals, Few Changes

The heat of summer may be upon us, but in Congress and in many state legislatures the attitude toward passing major data breach legislation has considerably cooled. We predicted some months ago that 2015 might be the...more

7/9/2015 - CISA Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Protection Healthcare Identity Theft Information Sharing Medical Records Office of Personnel Management (OPM) OPM Personally Identifiable Information

Lessons from FTC Enforcement Actions

The FTC released a guide for businesses based on lessons learned from the more than 50 reported FTC enforcement actions. This new guide, “Start With Security: A Guide For Business” outlines a general “standard of care” for...more

7/2/2015 - Data Protection Enforcement Actions Enforcement Guidance FTC Security and Privacy Controls Standard of Care Young Lawyers

DOJ Issues Best Practices For Data Breach Response

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Department of Justice Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Cybersecurity Unit issued guidance on best practices for responding to data breaches. DOJ released its “Best...more

5/5/2015 - Best Practices Cybersecurity Data Breach DOJ New Guidance Popular

Cyber Attacks on Financial Institutions Increasing in Frequency and Severity

Cyber attacks on financial institutions have become so relentless in their frequency and severity, that the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) directed banks this past month to enhance their...more

5/1/2015 - Banking Sector Cyber Attacks FFIEC Financial Institutions Risk Mitigation

Washington State Amends Data Breach Law

Passage of H.B. 1078 sets a 45-day notification deadline, adds additional notice requirements Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed H.B. 1078 into law on April 23, revising the state’s data breach notification statute and...more

4/29/2015 - Popular

New York Regulator Finds Substantial Cyber Vulnerabilities in Banking System

Earlier this month, Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services for the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), released a report finding “significant potential” vulnerabilities for cyber theft of...more

4/28/2015 - Banks Cybersecurity Cybertheft Financial Institutions NYDFS Popular Third-Party Risk Third-Party Service Provider

Is Wi-Fi Security Keeping You Awake on the Road?

Sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s rest out on the road. Accessible Wi-Fi in hotels, airplanes, coffee shops, and other hospitality locations has quickly gone from a luxury to a  necessity for customers who need...more


President Obama’s Proposed Privacy Bill of Rights - Part 4: Data Security

On Friday, Feb. 27, the Obama administration unveiled a proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights that would require “covered entities” to be more transparent in privacy practices, and provide individuals certain rights aimed...more

3/6/2015 - Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Covered Entities Cybersecurity Data Security Obama Administration Proposed Legislation

Employers: What the Anthem Breach Means to You

On Feb. 4, 2015, Anthem announced a data breach involving the personal information of more than 80 million individuals resulting from what it characterized as a sophisticated, targeted cyber-attack. Group health plans may be...more

2/10/2015 - Anthem Insurance Best Practices Breach Notification Rule Corporate Counsel Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity HIPAA Personally Identifiable Information

A Corporate Counsel’s Guide to Cyber Insurance

On an almost daily basis, you are reminded of why you should worry about the security of your company’s data and information systems. Whether it be from headlines in hard copy, broadcast, or online media, your senses have...more

12/30/2014 - Corporate Counsel Cyber Insurance Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Risk Mitigation

Congress Confirms NIST’s Role in Cybersecurity – and the Continuation of the Cybersecurity Framework

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 (CEA) was passed by the House and the Senate on December 11th, and signed by the President on the 18th. The bill formalizes the role of the National Institute for Standards and...more

12/19/2014 - CISA Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Framework DHS FISMA New Legislation NIST

Congress Funds Cybersecurity: Spending Bill Allocates over $1 Billion to Cybersecurity

The final spending bill of the 113th Congress, which keeps the government doors open until September 30th of 2015, was passed by the House on December 11th, the Senate on the 13th, and signed by the President on December...more

12/19/2014 - Appropriations Bill Cybersecurity

Congress Passes the National Cybersecurity Protection Act: Codifies National Cybersecurity Center & Creates Federal Agency Data...

The National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 (NCPA) was passed by the House on December 8th, by the Senate on December 10th, and signed by the President on December 18th. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and...more

12/19/2014 - Cybersecurity NCCIC New Legislation OMB

Congress Passes The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014: Bringing Federal Agency Information Security into the...

The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA) was passed by the Senate on December 8th, by the House on December 10th, and by the President on December 18th. It is a comprehensive bill intended to bring...more

12/19/2014 - Cybersecurity DHS FISMA New Legislation NIST OMB Popular

Congress Passes Cybersecurity Workforce Legislation

The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 was passed by the Senate on September 18th, by the House on December 10th, and signed by the President on December 18th. It contains provisions from the Cybersecurity Workforce...more

12/19/2014 - Cybersecurity DHS New Legislation Popular Recruitment Policies

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Releases Cybersecurity Assessment Results: Boards of Directors and Senior...

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released general observations yesterday from a cybersecurity assessment of over 500 community financial institutions. The cybersecurity assessment evaluated the...more

11/6/2014 - Corporate Officers Cybersecurity Directors FFIEC Financial Institutions Risk Assessment Risk Management

New York Becomes First State to Propose Virtual Currency Regulations

On July 17, 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) became the first state agency to release proposed regulations specifically governing the crypto-currency industry. The proposed regulations were...more

8/14/2014 - Administrative Procedure Act Bitcoin Financial Regulatory Reform Popular Virtual Currency

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Launches Cybersecurity Webpage and Begins Cybersecurity Assessments

In comments before the Risk Management Association’s Governance, Compliance, and Operational Risk Conference last month, Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency and Chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions...more


“… Because That’s Where the Money Is.” OCC Head Highlights Oversight of Cybersecurity for Financial Industry—Will All Vendors...

Why are banks often tempting targets for criminals and terrorists alike? Thomas Curry, the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), recently reminded us: “… because that’s where the money is.” But what...more

6/30/2014 - Banking Sector Banks Cybersecurity Federal Reserve OCC Popular

Department of Energy Invites Cybersecurity Comments

In a Federal Register notice to be officially published Friday, June 20, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) is inviting public participation in its efforts to develop a guidance document entitled “Energy Sector Framework...more

6/20/2014 - Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Framework DOE Energy Sector NIST Public Comment

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