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FTC Expanded Safeguards Rule Affects Non-Banking Small Business

06 Feb

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All businesses who have a security breach involving the information of at least 500 consumersMay 13, 2024


What happened?

On November 13, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published an amended final rule of “Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information” (Safeguard Rule), for which non-banking institutions would have to comply. 

What are the details? 

The FTC new amended rule will require some businesses (that perform banking-like activities) to: 

  • Notify customers and FTC when there is a cybersecurity breach, when a Notification Event as defined in the amended rules happens.
  • Report to the FTC within 30 days of discovery of the notification event via their website. 
  • Be mindful that there is a reverse presumption of knowledge.
  • Non-compliance can be met with up to $100.000 fine per violation for the institution, plus fines to directors and officers which can be personally fined. 

The rule will apply to financial institutions, defined as those that engage in an activity that is financial in nature or incidental to such financial activities (See definition here)

Business Considerations 

  • Covered entities should review their policies and procedures related to incident response and notice to ensure compliance with the Safeguards Rule and consider areas for enhancement.
  • Expect to see an increase in FTC engagement on cybersecurity-related risks for financial institutions and an increase in investigative activity, as well as media and litigation risk.
  • It is recommended to speak to an attorney to fully understand if your business is required to comply and how it can do so properly. 


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