On October 13, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued disclosure guidance related to cybersecurity risks and costs that may have far-reaching impacts on electric utilities. For those electric utilities already subject to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) cybersecurity requirements, this guidance suggests the need for increased scrutiny of compliance costs and harms resulting from cyber incidents and potential cyber incidents to evaluate appropriate disclosure. With the pending increase in the number of assets covered by the Version 4 Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently proposed to approve, the costs of compliance are likely to significantly increase across the electric utilities industry, affecting a wide variety of SEC registrants subject to FERC's reliability jurisdiction.
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