Free Cyber Risk Analysis: Your Top Cyber Risks in 3 Clicks

Get Started
Request Demo

SEC Cyber Incident Reporting

Report on Cyber Incidents in Real-time to Meet SEC Requirements and Proactively Manage Cyber Risk.

SEC Cyber Incident Reporting 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent federal agency responsible for regulating the securities markets and protecting investors. The SEC oversees the enforcement of securities laws, ensures fair and efficient markets, and facilitates capital formation. In recent years, the SEC has increasingly emphasized cybersecurity due to the growing prevalence and sophistication of cyber threats.

What is Cyber Incident Reporting?

Cyber incident reporting involves disclosing cybersecurity incidents that could significantly impact a company’s operations, financial position, or reputation. The SEC requires public companies and other regulated entities to report material cyber incidents promptly. This ensures that investors and stakeholders are informed of risks and challenges that could affect their investment decisions.

This guide is designed to provide comprehensive guidance on SEC cyber incident reporting. It aims to help businesses, cybersecurity professionals, and investors understand:

  • The regulatory background of SEC cyber incident reporting
  • Specific requirements and best practices for reporting incidents
  • Preparation steps and resources for effective incident response and compliance

SEC Cyber Incident Reporting Requirements

A cyber incident refers to any unauthorized access to or disruption of a company’s information systems that can compromise data integrity, availability, or confidentiality. 

  • Examples include:
  1. Data breaches exposing sensitive customer information
  2. Ransomware attacks impacting business operations
  3. Denial-of-service attacks causing service interruptions

Key Requirements for Reporting

To comply with SEC requirements, companies must adhere to the following reporting obligations:

  • Material Cyber Incident Disclosure:
    • Report material cyber incidents on Form 8-K within four business days.
    • Provide detailed descriptions of the incident, including its nature, scope, and impact on the company.
    • Update previously reported incidents in periodic filings, such as Forms 10-Q and 10-K.
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management and Governance Disclosures:
    • Outline the company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures.
    • Describe the board’s role in cybersecurity oversight and the management’s approach to managing cyber risks.

Get the Guide: Accurately determine materiality using our brief on the SEC Rules and Materiality disclosures.

SEC Materiality Assessment

Determining the materiality of a cyber incident involves evaluating its potential impact on the company’s financial condition, operations, and reputation. 

  • Considerations include:
  • Financial Impact: Potential losses, recovery costs, and revenue disruption.
  • Operational Impact: Effects on business continuity and service delivery.
  • Legal and Regulatory Impact: Compliance violations, fines, and litigation risks.
  • Reputational Impact: Potential damage to customer trust and brand value.

How to Prepare for SEC Cyber Reporting

Incident Response Planning

Effective cyber incident response planning is crucial for timely and accurate reporting. Companies should:

Establish an Incident Response Team (IRT): Assemble a multidisciplinary team, including IT, cybersecurity, legal, communications, and executive leadership. Assign clear roles and responsibilities to each team member.

Develop an Incident Response Plan (IRP): Outline detailed steps for detecting, containing, eradicating, and recovering from cyber incidents. Include a communication strategy for internal and external stakeholders.

Conduct Regular Drills and Simulations: Test the incident response plan through tabletop exercises and full-scale simulations. Update the plan based on insights gained from drills.

Data Collection and Documentation

Accurate data collection and documentation are essential for thorough cyber incident reporting. Security leaders must leverage a cyber risk management solution that leverages automation. This will empower security teams with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Effective cyber risk management hinges on the quality of data collected. 

  • Key practices include establishing a centralized incident log, preserving evidence, and maintaining communication records. 

Learn more about the SEC Cybersecurity Rule

Download the SEC Fact Sheet

Download the SEC Fact Sheet