“You don’t drown from falling into the water, you drown from not getting out.” Think about that — and think about how that applies to cyber security and data breach issues facing companies in today’s cyber world. Here, in my first ever video blog post, I explain this issue with more detail.
Let me make sure I have this right … the same company officials who are currently being warned about cyber risk but are not finding it significant enough to act are going to be the ones who determine whether there is a reasonable chance that customers will be harmed — from their data breach — and if, in their judgment there is not, they will not have to go through a breach response? Really???
“The proposed law would require quick disclosure by companies if there is a risk of serious identity theft or fraud, the Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal (sub. req.). But there would be no need for disclosure when company officials believe there is no reasonable chance that customers will be harmed.”
I have always been a fan of AllClear ID for being the best of the best at handling breach response logistics but now, I have to give them a shoutout for another reason. AllClear has a Resources page with some of the very best and most well-respected law firm blogs in the world.
While I am certainly not saying it is deserved, it is very much appreciated that they have chosen to include this blog — the Business Cyber Risk Law Blog — among such great company. Go check it out and you will see for yourself why this is such an honor.
Thank you AllClear ID!
I am really looking forward to speaking to the 400+ attendees at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 25th Annual DFW Fraud Conference event on Friday, May 15, 2015.
My address is titled Addressing the Most Current Cybersecurity Threats: Don’t Be the Next Victim.
You can learn more about this event at this LINK and here are some of the event materials:
LawyersWeekly has found that cybersecurity is now one of the top 3 concerns of corporate general counsel. It should probably be the first, given the trend toward finding liability for officers and directors for cybersecurity incidents.
Here are my key takeaways from the LawyersWeekly article:
- General counsel’s responsibilities more frequently include cybersecurity and data protection risk
- Cybersecurity is a top 3 concern among GC, ranking alongside compliance and value for money
- There has been a significant increase in cybersecurity compliance-related work and assistance with privacy complaints
- Larger companies are recognizing the seriousness of cybersecurity risk and putting in place processes and systems to manage it
Full article: GCs raise cybersecurity concerns.
This is an excellent article that covers a very important topic you need to consider. You — as in Executives and Board Members of Companies all around the world.
Stop, close your eyes, and ask yourself these three questions that are in this article:
- “What did you think of the announcement?” (i.e., put yourself in her position and envision that day)
- “Is there anything in your emails and files that, if exposed, would get you fired?” (this is self explanatory, but see this related post for advice on this issue: #SonyHack: Will Executives’ Embarrassing Emails Better Motivate Cybersecurity Change?)
- “In the event we experience a breach, what are our priorities?” (again, self explanatory, but see this related post for advice on planning: Breach Response Planning)
Now check out the full article: The conversation security leaders need to have about Amy Pascal’s departure | CSO Online.
Today is Data Privacy Day! If you have been wondering “what is Data Privacy Day?” then this is your lucky day because not only is today Data Privacy Day, but here is the answer and an explanation for why it really matters to you and your company’s future success.
What is Data Privacy Day?
Data Privacy Day is observed every year on January 28 and is led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a nonprofit, public-private partnership dedicated cybersecurity education and awareness. According to the NCSA,
Data Privacy Day is an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint.
Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is now a celebration for everyone, observed annually on January 28.
Data flows freely in today’s online world. Everyone – from home computer users to multinational corporations – needs to be aware of the personal data others have entrusted to them and remain vigilant and proactive about protecting it. Being a good online citizen means practicing conscientious data stewardship. Data Privacy Day is an effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy, control their digital footprint, and make the protection of privacy and data a great priority in their lives.
14 Tips For Keeping Your Company’s Data Secure
In honor of Data Privacy Day, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (iapp) has posted an article with 14 tips you need to consider when evaluating how to keep your company’s data secure:
- Know Thy Data. Determine what data you collect and share. Classify it according to its level of criticality and sensitivity. What could be considered PII? Define whether data is “in use,” “in motion” or “at rest.” Know where the data is physically stored.
- You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone. Conduct annual audits to review whether your data should be retained, aggregated or discarded. Data that’s no longer used needs to be securely decommissioned. Create a data retention policy dictating how long you keep information once it’s fulfilled its original purpose. And, of course, continually ask whether that purpose is still valid and relevant.
- Practice or You’ll Breach. Forged e-mail, malvertising, phishing, social engineering exploits and data snooping via unencrypted transmissions are on the rise. From simple controls to sophisticated gears, make sure you’ve implemented leading security “best practices.”
- AYO Technology! Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies identify vulnerabilities of potential exposures. These work in conjunction with existing security and antivirus tools. From early warnings of irregular data flows to unauthorized employee access, DLP solutions help minimize and remediate threats.
- BYOD Is Like a BYOB House Party. The lack of a coherent bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program can put an organization at risk. User devices can easily pass malware and viruses onto company platforms. Develop a formal mobile device management program that includes an inventory of all personal devices used in the workplace, an installation of remote wiping tools and procedures for employee loss notification.
- Insist on a List. To mitigate the grave impact on your organization, inventory key systems, access credentials and contacts. This includes bank accounts, registrars, cloud service providers, server hosting providers and payroll providers. Keep this list in a secure yet accessible location.
- Forensics – Don’t Do This at Home. The forensics investigation is essential in determining the source and magnitude of a breach. This is best left to the experts as it’s easy to accidentally modify or disrupt the chain of custody.
- Where the Logs At? Logs are fundamental components in forensics analysis, helping investigators understand what data was compromised. Types of logs include transaction, server access, firewall and client operating system. Examine all logs in advance to ensure correct configuration and time-zone synchronization. Routinely back them up; keep copies, and make sure they’re protected.
- Incident Response Team to the Rescue! Breaches are interdisciplinary events requiring coordinated strategies and responses. The team should represent every functional group within the organization, with an appointed executive who has defined responsibilities and authority. Establish “first responders” available 24/7 (hackers don’t work a 9 to 5 schedule).
- Get Friendly With the “Fuzz.” Reach out to law enforcement and regulators prior to an incident. Know who to contact so you won’t have to introduce yourself in the “heat of the battle.” When you have bad news to report, make sure they hear directly from you (a courtesy call goes a long way). Don’t inflame the situation by becoming defensive; focus on what you’re doing to help affected parties.
- Rules, Rules, Rules. Become intimately familiar with the international, domestic and local regulations that specifically relate to your organization. The failure to notify the appropriate governmental body can result in further inquiries and fines.
- What Did You Say? A well-executed communications plan not only minimizes harm and potential legal consequences, it also mitigates harm to a company’s reputation. Address critical audiences and review applicable laws before notifying. Tailor your message by geographic region and demographics. Knowing what to say is just as important as knowing what NOT to say.
- Help Me Help You. Customers want organizations to take responsibility and protect them from the potential consequences of a breach. The DIP should include easy-to-access remedies that offset the harm to affected parties.
Here is a link to the full post: How to Lose Your Data in 10 Days
The 14 tips are a great place to start when thinking about securing your company’s data. As shown by the recent data breaches that have hit Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, and Barnes & Noble, the question is no longer one of if your company will have a data breach, but when.
When Your Company is Breached, Your Preparation Will Be Vital to the Company Surviving the Crisis
A data breach is a crisis situation for any company–especially given the amount of attention data breaches are getting these days. From a very big picture perspective, there are two goals to strive for when a company responds to a data breach: (1) avoid, or at least mitigate, any legal and regulatory trouble; and, (2) more importantly, minimize the impact of the breach on the company’s overall business. (see related data breach discussions) The only way your company can achieve these goals is to be proactive by getting prepared before the inevitable occurs–the breach.
If your company is prepared, it is in a much better position to minimize the loss of data, be better able to respond to the breach, and demonstrate to the legal and regulatory authorities that it acted reasonably in protecting its data, which can be very helpful in minimizing the legal and regulatory repercussions, which is the first step. By being prepared and better able to address the first step, the company is then able to focus more of its efforts on polishing its response to be more palatable for its customers and better addressing their feelings and concerns. In other words, if the company is prepared, it is not panicking and scrambling just to get out a response–any response–but instead can take the time to analyze the situation through its customers’ eyes and provide a much better response that takes their feelings and concerns into consideration. This is the vital step because this is what helps preserve the company’s customer relationships.
The best way to be prepared for this is for your company to have a thorough and custom data breach incident response plan. The data breach incident response plan should be tailored to fit your company in many ways, including the following ways just to name a few:
- the nature of your company’s culture, both internally and externally
- the nature of your company’s customers
- the nature of your company’s products or services
- the nature of your company’s operations and management structure
- the type, volume, and sensitivity of the data your company collects and retains
- the security measures your company has in place
- the resources your company has to devote to data security issues
- the security standards of your company’s particular industry
Could you figure these things out on your own, with enough time and effort? Probably so — but would that really be efficient? More importantly, and I can not over-emphasize this point enough: You need an attorney to assist you with many of these things because, when done under the guidance of an attorney and if the proper formalities are observed, much of the process can be protected by the attorney-client privilege, but not if you don’t have an attorney assisting with the process.
Help is Only a Telephone Call Away
I have assisted many companies with data security issues from assessing their cybersecurity and data privacy strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches. When it comes to cybersecurity and data privacy, I see the whole playing field. If you have questions about how you can help better prepare your company, please feel free to give me a call (214.472.2135) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).