Handling Cyber Attacks to Avoid Legal Problems
Even though our world is getting more and more technologically advanced, you, individually as a business owner, may not be. You got into your business to do that business—not to become an IT professional. And yet, as a business, you have certain responsibilities surrounding IT, that can get you into legal problems if you aren’t aware of them.
If you have any kind of information in your system related to clients, customers, vendors or contractors, you are at risk for a cyber-attack. That information, with phone numbers, addresses, emails, dates of birth, and other private data, is like gold to unscrupulous scammers, who will attack your systems at every opportunity.
What if your business is attacked? What’s the best way to handle that situation, and minimize the chance of having legal liability put on you for that attack?
Having a Plan
Having a plan can help you in the event that you are a victim of a cyber-attack. The plan would dictate who in your company would be responsible for identifying and trying to rectify or stop any type of cyber-attack.
The plan would also have a list of people or vendors that would be notified in the event of a cyber-attack. It would also list any systems, networks, or computers that should immediately be shut down, to stop or slow the spread of the cyber-attack.
The plan also should have a policy and procedures component, telling employees how to handle the situation—and allowing you to communicate with employees. If your systems must be shut down to stop or thwart a cyber-attack, how will you communicate with employees? How will your employees know to stop using their emails, communications, or business networks?
If you do not have insurance to help you in the event of a cyber-attack, you should. Insurance can help you recover for business losses during times when you are down because of cyber-attacks, and may be able to help you pay for tech professionals or equipment that may be needed to stop any cyber-attacks—as well as liability for any cyber-attack.
If you already have insurance, don’t forget to inform them in a timely manner of a cyber-attack, or when any such attack is suspected.
Do your business contracts have provisions that address business delays for cyber-attacks? If you are providing a service that can’t be provided because of a cyber-attack, your business contracts should say that you are absolved from performance in this situation so you don’t end up sued for not doing something you’re contractually bound to do, because of a cyber-attack.
Remember that if a cyber-attack involves theft of personal information, like birthdates, account numbers, or social security numbers, there are legal requirements and notification requirements. If this kind of personal data is stolen, it’s time to get legal counsel involved.
Is your business safe? Do you have plans in place for any kind of legal problem? Call the West Palm Beach business litigation lawyers at Pike & Lustig today.