Business Litigation Alert: "Cybersecurity Costs Rising: How will the Government Respond?"

A new study reveals that hackers now cost consumers and businesses between $375 and $575 billion worldwide, with North America and Europe experiencing the highest losses. Those numbers are only expected to grow as the U.S. government searches for a way to effectively deal with this growing problem.

In February, the Obama administration published a cybersecurity framework that includes voluntary best practices and standards designed to help companies protect their networks from hackers. However, these are voluntary guidelines, and it remains to be seen whether this framework will be embraced and implemented by U.S. businesses.

The administration has also called on Congress to enact legislation to strengthen cybersecurity and combat hackers, but both the House and Senate have continually run into problems passing any legislation in this area due to privacy concerns. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted last month to approve the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA), but the bill has proved to be controversial. Many feel that CISA fails to protect American’s privacy, while supporters claim that the bill’s data sharing between the government and companies will help stop cyber-attacks and protect businesses from lawsuits if they disclose details of any cyber-breach.

At this point, given the lack of any federal legislation, businesses must develop and execute a firm cybersecurity plan that includes provisions for protecting valuable data and a plan of action should a cyber-breach occur. Cyber-attacks will continue to be a serious problem for companies and consumers. Preparation will be key for your business should a cyber-attack occur.

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