Under a new plan from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), companies would face more pressure to alert the public of hacks or other significant cybersecurity incidents. On Wednesday, the SEC proposed requiring publicly traded firms to disclose breaches within four days. The demands would apply to incidents that are considered "material," or important to the average investor.

After years of high-profile incidents, this is the SEC's latest move to prod companies to be more transparent when attacks occur. Last month, the agency proposed requiring investment companies to bolster their cybersecurity systems.

"Cybersecurity incidents, unfortunately, happen a lot," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. "A lot of issuers already provide cybersecurity disclosure to investors. I think companies and investors alike would benefit if this information were required in a consistent, comparable, and decision-useful manner."

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