Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Dicta Guest Article: Understanding Cyber Risks

04/09/2013


The Director of National Intelligence recently reported that cyber attacks are the number one threat to our national security. But cybercrime is not just a threat to our national security; it is a threat to many of the organizations we represent. A cyber incident could result in significant disclosure obligations, civil lawsuits, or government investigations and enforcement actions, and an immediate response is crucial to preserve a target’s defenses or any rights to recovery that might be available. Attorneys can provide an important service to their clients by helping them understand, mitigate, and respond to the cyber risks they face.

Know the targets.  Operators of critical infrastructure and organizations that possess valuable proprietary data or personal information are prime targets of cybercrime.  Organizations in the financial services, telecommunications, transportation, logistics, energy, utilities, oil and gas, and health care industries top the list.  High-tech companies with sensitive intellectual property and companies that process personal information such as social security numbers and credit or debit card data are also targets. 

Know the wrongdoers.  Quite often, hackers are current or former employees of the target.  A jury in the Northern District of Texas recently convicted a logistics company executive of hacking into his former employer’s email servers to steal sensitive information that he allegedly later used to operate his competing business.  Hackers may also be vendors or service providers, activists, or even state-sponsored hackers in foreign countries.

Excerpted from the Dallas Association of  Young Lawyer's Dicta, April 9, 2013. To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.

PDF - Understanding Cyber Risks.pdf

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