Cybercrime and Hacking Are Even Bigger Worries for Small Business Owners

January 21, 2015 – In The News
The Guardian

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in The Guardian article, “Cybercrime and Hacking Are Even Bigger Worries for Small Business Owners.” Full text can be found in the January 21, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Cybercrime is not just a problem for large companies and corporations. Small businesses are affected too, but there are steps they can take to protect themselves.

Employers can certainly attempt to ensure that employees aren’t accessing the wrong kind of websites, but not everything an employee will do will come through his or her work computer. Major consumer-focused technology companies often issue software updates that make it impossible to gain access to the content of devices that use their mobile operating systems, which irks law enforcement personnel. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is among those who believe that cybercrime will continue to thrive as long as companies create such privacy locks against employers and law enforcement.

“There is some irony in the debate,” said Scott Vernick, a noted privacy attorney. “Tech firms are very pro-privacy when it comes to protecting their consumers; less so with how they themselves use it. Vance might be right when it comes to counterterrorism. You want to have an efficient way to get at this data.”

The Obama Administration is also now pushing for a federal cyberbreach reporting law that would require companies to notify consumers within 30 days of a breach being discovered.

“I’m in favor of a national standard and I believe 30 days is the right amount of time to report a breach,” said Vernick. “After the Target breach, Minnesota required reporting in five days. I don’t know what you can tell people after five days.”

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