September 14, 2012

More on “The State of Cybersecurity Disclosure”

Recently, Dave blogged about how Corp Fin has commented upon cybersecurity disclosures during the past year since the Staff issued CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 2, Cybersecurity. Since then, Bloomberg ran this article noting how some high profile companies have received futures comments in this area (including Google and Amazon) (Gunster’s Securities Edge blog covered this yesterday). One member wrote in:

This story is consistent with my experience with a number of clients, some of who have only minimal cyberrisks – that they had determined not to be material – but were told that they needed to add a risk factor. Any company that has an attack described in the media should expect a comment, regardless of the level of attack. Most companies do not want to elaborate on the details in responses to the Staff, because doing so could make them more vulnerable.

Feel free to share your own experiences (on a confidential basis as always)…

Death Rattles for Mass Media Covering Business Stories?

As long as I am blasting reporters this week. When I returned from vacation a few Sundays ago, I was struck by how thin the Business section was for the NY Times. It was merely 8 pages long – and the last page was entirely comprised of ads. For the Sunday issue. I breezed through the section in about 3 minutes. And given my area of interest, I mainly focused on a lead article that claimed that SEC Commissioner Aguilar had voted against SEC Chair Schapiro’s proposal for money market reform without previously raising any issue with it. [Several years ago, the Washington Post completely disbanded a separate Business section other than on Sunday – now, any biz stories are buried in the middle of the “A” section.]

As money market reform is not in my bailiwick, I don’t have any strong opinions as to what is the proper reform – but I do know enough to believe that the NY Times article was wildly off the mark as Aguilar has actively participated in SEC roundtables on the topic going back as far as two years (as well as speeches). This article was corrected for this point the next day – but the tone of the article lived on.

My point is that I am much more likely to trust blogs written by folks in the field than reporters who have a tough job covering a wide sea of topics for which they have a passing familiarity, boxed in by the stress of strict deadlines. It doesn’t look good for the mass media unless they continue to transform their reporting model by using real pros to cover these highly specialized topics that are nearly impossible to pick up in a day. There are several examples of successful reporters doing this type of thing – the NY Times’ Steven Davidoff and Forbes’ Francine McKenna for starters (although to be fair, they are columnists. They may write about news but are paid to put a definitive, personal spin on it. We still need beat reporters to cover and analyze the news).

The Second Deal Cube Tourney: Round One; 13th Match

As noted in these rules (and keep sending more pics for the next tourney), please vote for two of the following four cubes below:

Manhole Cover
Dog Food Bowl
Predator & Prey

Online Surveys & Market Research

– Broc Romanek