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N.Y. Taps Ex-Prosecutor to Lead New Cybersecurity Unit

May 22, 2019, 5:57 PM

A former federal prosecutor will oversee cybersecurity oversight and enforcement for New York’s financial services regulator.

Justin Herring, the leader of the cyber crimes unit for the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, will take the helm of a newly created Cybersecurity Division at the New York Department of Financial Services, the agency announced May 22. No other state banking and insurance regulator has a unit specifically devoted to cybersecurity, the DFS said.

New York has taken the lead among state regulators in setting cybersecurity standards, finalizing first of their kind cybersecurity regulations in February 2017. Herring, in his new role as deputy superintendent, will oversee the state’s efforts to protect consumers and companies from cyber threats.

As technology changes the financial services industry, regulation must evolve, and DFS is evolving to meet the challenges and opportunities of the new landscape, to protect consumers, safeguard the industry, and encourage innovation,” acting DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell said in a statement.

Herring was a part of several high profile cases during his time overseeing cybercrimes investigations and enforcement at the New Jersey U.S. attorney’s office as well as in Baltimore. Among those was the investigation into a breach of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR system where hackers attempted to trade on nonpublic corporate securities filings, and the SamSam Ransomware attacks that shut down Atlanta, the port of San Diego and several healthcare facilities.

“I look forward to bringing my expertise to DFS to lead this new division to combat the growing problem of cybercrime, protect New Yorkers and their sensitive information from attacks, and ensure that DFS continues to be a leader in cybersecurity,” Herring said in his statement.

Herring’s appointment and the creation of a new cybersecurity unit is the latest move by Lacewell to reshape the DFS since her nomination to lead the agency in January. Lacewell created a new consumer financial protection unit in April.

Lacewell, a former federal prosecutor, chose former federal prosecutors to lead both of her new divisions, signaling an even more aggressive bent at an agency that has a reputation for a heavy enforcement focus.

To contact the reporter on this story: Evan Weinberger in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at