In a much-anticipated Supreme Court decision, Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, sure to impact the future of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the Court addressed the issue of whether the government-debt exception to the TCPA’s automated-call restriction violates the First Amendment, and whether the proper remedy for any constitutional violation is
As we recently reported, the privacy-right activist group that sponsored the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) – Californians for Consumer Privacy – is pushing for an even more stringent privacy bill, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”). The CRPA has now qualified for the November 3, 2020 ballot, gathering more than 600,000 valid signatures as…
As they work to combat the surging COVID-19 virus, healthcare providers recently were reminded by legislators and regulators of the importance of data security and privacy protections.
On the data security front, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Tom Cotton, David Perdue, and Mark Warner recently wrote to the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s…
The United States Supreme Court recently granted a petition for certiorari in Van Buren v. United States addressing the issue of whether it is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) when an individual who is authorized to access information on a computer, accesses the same information for an improper purpose. The…
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) generally prohibits the use of automated dialing equipment or prerecorded voice messages to make calls, send text messages, or send faxes absent prior consent of the called party. This includes calls or texts to cellular phone numbers as well as calls to residential lines. There are limited exceptions to…
In the US, many organizations anxiously awaiting assistance under the CARES Act are becoming the targets of cyberattackers looking to feed off of the massive relief being provided by the US treasury. Yesterday, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint alert warning of a substantial increase in these attacks, providing helpful guidance concerning the nature of the attacks and related information.
Specifically, the alert provides information on exploitation by cybercriminal and advanced persistent threat (APT) groups of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. It includes a non-exhaustive list of indicators of compromise (IOCs) for detection as well as mitigation advice. The alert notes that the surge in teleworking has increased the use of potentially vulnerable services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), amplifying the threat to individuals and organizations.
Organizations may not be able to prevent all attacks, but there are steps they could take to minimize the chance and impact of a successful attack, and to be prepared to respond. Here are just a few of those steps.
Before an Attack
- Build the right team
- Ensure you have an IT team in place, whether internal or through a third-party vendor, that is well-versed in emerging threats and prepared to support the organization in the event of an attack.
- Secure the systems
- Conduct a risk assessment and penetration test to understand the potential for exposure to malware.
- Implement technical measures and policies that can prevent an attack, such as endpoint security, multi-factor authentication, regular updates to virus and malware definitions/protections, intrusion prevention software and web browser protection, and monitor user activity for unauthorized and high risk activities.
- Make your employees aware of the risks and steps they must take in case of an attack
- This is particularly critical now – educate employees on how to recognize phishing attacks and dangerous sites — say it, show them, and do it regularly. This includes instructing them to use caution when clicking directly on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known — verify web addresses independently.
- Employees should avoid revealing personal or financial information about themselves, other employees, customers, and the company in email, including wiring instructions. If they must, they should confirm by phone.
- Direct employees to pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
- Instruct employees on what to do immediately if they believe an attack has occurred (e.g., notify IT, disconnect from network, and other measures) and what not to do (e.g., deleting system files, attempting to restore the system to an earlier date, and the like).
- Maintain backups
- Backup data early and often.
- Keep backup files disconnected from the network and in separate locations.
- Develop and practice an “Incident Response Plan”
- Identify the internal team (e.g., leadership, IT, general counsel, and HR).
- Identify the external team (e.g., insurance carrier, outside legal counsel, forensic investigator, and public relations).
- Outline steps for organizational continuity — using backup files and new equipment, safeguarding systems, and updating employees.
- Plan to involve law enforcement (e.g., FBI, IRS, Office of Civil Rights, and so on).
- Plan to identify, assess, and comply with legal and contractual obligations.
- Practice the response plan with the internal and external teams, reviewing and updating the plan to improve performance.
Earlier this month, California Attorney General (“AG”) Xavier Becerra sent a letter to several members of U.S. Congress, providing an update on the implementation of the newly effective California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and urging Congress not to enact a federal law that would preempt the CCPA and other state consumer privacy measures. Instead, AG…
Recently, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued an important opinion, concluding that Cambridge Analytica, LLC, the data analytics and consulting company, engaged in “deceptive practices to harvest personal information” of tens of millions social media users, by way of using their data from a company developed app, GSRapp, for voter profiling purposes without the…
As we’ve previously reported, the New York Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (the “SHIELD Act”) goes into effect on March 21, 2020. The SHIELD Act, which amends the State’s current data breach notification law, imposes more expansive data security and data breach notification requirements on companies, in the hope of ensuring…
The Telephone Consumer Protect Act (“TCPA”) has seen lots of action in 2019, and in the final days of the year the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a significant ruling concluding that “online fax services” i.e. e-faxes are outside the scope of the TCPA. The FCC’s ruling effectively prevents the common “junk fax” class action…