Why do you need a cyber attorney? Shawn Tuma explains in Ethical Boardroom

spring2018In my latest article in Ethical Boardroom article, I explain some of the not-so-obvious reasons why you need an experienced cyber attorney on your team: Why you need a cyber attorney (Spring 2018)

Here are other Ethical Boardroom (@EthicalBoard) articles that I have written or contributed to that are also available for free:

______________________

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

Can your company do business without its computer system? Let’s ask Atlanta!

Atlanta RansomwareIn the world of cybersecurity and data protection, we tend to think about most cyber incidents as being “data breaches” because that’s the term de jour that occupies news headlines. Because of this, far too many companies think that if they do not have valuable data that hackers would want to “breach,” so to speak, they do not need to be concerned about cybersecurity. While this is wrong on one level because all data has value to hackers, it is even more wrong on a much greater level.

There is a lot more to cybersecurity and data protection than just breaches of the confidentiality of data (i.e., “data breaches“). Hackers have shown a strong trend over the last couple of years of attacking the computer system itself and, as some call it, “bricking” company’s computers and/or data and demanding an extortion payment in exchange for their promise to honor their word and undo the damage (if they even can). This is the process underlying what is often called ransomware.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If not, let me see if I can simplify this process for you a bit with the question below: (1) If you still think your company does not have data that is valuable to hackers, and (2) You still think that means that your company does not need to focus on cybersecurity,

Can your company continue to do business if it is not able to use its computer system?

If you’ve seen the news today you see that the City of Atlanta has had many of its computer systems bricked by ransomware and those business operations that require the use of those systems are now shut down.

Now, let me ask you, “how many days can your company go without doing whatever it is that it does before it really begins to hurt?”

Still need more convincing? Ok, I addressed this issue in more detail in Chapter 5 of The #CyberAvengers Playbook (free to download) — go give it a read.

______________________

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is an attorney with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Attorney at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

3 Legal Points for InfoSec Teams to Consider Before an Incident

secureworldAs a teaser to my presentation at SecureWorld – Dallas last week, I did a brief interview with SecureWorld and talked about three of the points I would make in my lunch keynote, The Legal Case for Cybersecurity. If you’re going to SecureWorld – Denver next week, join me for the lunch keynote on Thursday (11/2) as I will again be making The Legal Case for Cybersecurity.

In the SecureWorld article, Why InfoSec Teams Need to Think with a ‘Legal’ Mind, Before an Incident, we discuss these three points:

  1. There are three general types of “cyber laws” that infosec needs to understand;
  2. Sadly, far too many companies do not take cybersecurity seriously until after they have had a significant incident; and
  3. Companies’ need for implementing and continuously maturing a cyber risk management program (such as my CyberGard).

 

NIST Cybersecurity Guidance for Small Business Likely Forthcoming

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation similar to that recently passed by the Senate that would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to produce cybersecurity guidance that will be aimed at helping small businesses. The NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act of 2017 would include NIST’s creating guidelines, tools, and best practices to help smaller businesses reduce their cybersecurity risk.

The companion legislation passed by the Senate is the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology Cybersecurity Act of 2017.

Uber’s Settlement With FTC Emphasizes Companies’ Need for Cyber Risk Management Programs

The FTC and Uber have settled the enforcement action the FTC brought against the company. This action stems from Uber’s data breach of more than 100,000 individuals’ PII despite its promises that their data was “securely stored within our databases.” The FTC found this promise was misleading when compared with the actions the company was really taking. In settling the dispute, Uber entered into a Consent Decree that Continue reading “Uber’s Settlement With FTC Emphasizes Companies’ Need for Cyber Risk Management Programs”

3 More Key Cybersecurity Takeaways General Counsel Should Learn Learn from Yahoo

The lessons that general counsel can learn from the Yahoo data breach just keep coming. A month ago I published 5 Key Takeaways from Verizon’s GC on Lessons Learned from Yahoo Deal and recently I read Yahoo’s Warning to GCs: Your Job Description Just Expanded (Big-Time), which I found to be excellent.

Here are 3 key cybersecurity takeaways that general counsel should learn that are described more in that article. The explanation in the article is very good and the author provides actionable recommendations — I encourage you to read the entire article:

  1. The general counsel has emerged as the most logical and effective quarterback of data breach response.
  2. Yahoo’s actions not only signal the evolution of a new standard of care for general counsel when it comes to cybersecurity but also signal a vast expansion of general counsel oversight. 
  3. Cybersecurity presents every bit, if not more risk than financial reporting failure, and should receive the same level of oversight and audit.

______________________

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

5 Key Takeaways from Verizon’s GC on Lessons Learned from Yahoo Deal

A good friend recently shared with me the article Verizon GC on the Lessons Learned from Deal with Yahoo (use Linkedin for paywall access) because he thought it would be valuable information to add to my own cybersecurity knowledge toolbox. Given the experience Verizon’s GC has gained through this process, when he talks about lessons learned, we should all pay attention.

Here are the 5 key takeaways to keep in mind for mergers and acquisitions such as this one:

  1. Have a strategy on how to handle the news of data breaches.
  2. Analyze how a data breach impacts the original goals of the deal and how it will impact investors.
  3. Be very disciplined in messaging, ensuring that all public statements, to all audiences, are a variation of the same core messages.
  4. Know what the parties’ agreement says about data breaches which, necessarily, requires that the agreement address the issue of data breaches.
  5. While due diligence around data breaches may be important, it is more important to have reps and warranties around data breaches because it is unreasonable to expect due diligence to find what the company itself hasn’t found.

Yahoo security lapses laid bare even as Russia blamed for hack

______________________

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

Critical Steps Companies Must Take to Comply with New York’s Cybersecurity Rules – Ethical Boardroom

Winter2017New York’s Cybersecurity Regulations went into effect on March 1, 2017 and their impact could reach farther than you think — including to small and mid-sized companies that do not do business in New York and are not in the financial services industries. And, they require direct involvement by the Board of Directors. Is your company ready?

In my latest Ethical Boardroom article, I explain

  1. how these Cybersecurity Regulations can impact businesses of all sizes, in all industries, and all around the world,
  2. what specific steps regulated companies must take to be in compliance with the Cybersecurity Regulations, and
  3. what these Cybersecurity Regulations mean for nearly all companies.

Here is the full article from the Winter 2017 edition (page 140) which is available with free registration to the Ethical Boardroom website: Getting to Grips with New York’s Cybersecurity Compliance Rules

Here are other Ethical Boardroom (@EthicalBoard) articles that I have written that are also available for free:

______________________

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud, and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

Cybersecurity Legal Issues: What you really need to know (slides)

Shawn Tuma delivered the presentation Cybersecurity Legal Issues: What you really need to know at a Cybersecurity Summit sponsored by the Tarleton State University School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Strategic Studies’ Institute for Homeland Security, Cybercrime and International Criminal Justice. The presentation was on September 13, 2016 at the George Bush Institue. The following are the slides from Tuma’s presentation — a video of the presentation will be posted soon!

Continue reading “Cybersecurity Legal Issues: What you really need to know (slides)”

Brazzers porn hack: more than just account holders exposed–what does this mean for your company?

hackedWe have been observing an evolution in hackers’ tactics from going after data that could be directly monetized, such as payment card data, to going after data that can be monetized indirectly through extortion, such as the Ashley Madison data. The hack of Brazzers porn site is similar to the Ashley Madison hack in that the real opportunity for monetization lies not in the intrinsic value of the data itself, but in the opportunity to use the data to embarrass and extort others into paying money to keep it secret.

The data dump from the hackers includes email addresses, user names and passwords spelled out in plain text, which can certainly Continue reading “Brazzers porn hack: more than just account holders exposed–what does this mean for your company?”