CyberSecurity & Data Privacy

How does El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law Impact U.S.-based Virtual Currency Exchanges?

How does El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law Impact U.S.-based Virtual Currency Exchanges?

In our recent article on the legal framework governing virtual currencies, we briefly discussed the distinction between money transmitters and virtual currency exchanges.  In short, transmitters are entities that convert fiat currency into virtual currency, whereas exchanges are entities that swap one virtual currency for another, such as Ethereum (ETH) for Dogecoin (DOGE).  The distinction is relevant since transmitters are sometimes regulated differently than exchanges.  ...
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New Developments in the Colonial Pipeline Attack Provide Businesses Good News – And Some Important Lessons

New Developments in the Colonial Pipeline Attack Provide Businesses Good News – And Some Important Lessons

It has been barely a month since we reported on the recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company, yet news continues to break with additional revelations about the recent attack.  What we have learned during the past several weeks should give businesses encouragement, while reinforcing some important lessons. Shortly after the attack, it was revealed that Colonial Pipeline paid roughly $4.3 million in bitcoin ...
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Recent Attack On World’s Largest Meat Supplier Shows Businesses Are Vulnerable To Ransomware

Recent Attack On World’s Largest Meat Supplier Shows Businesses Are Vulnerable To Ransomware

A few weeks ago, details of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack filled the news cycle, and by now, most people have heard about the latest ransomware attack to hit the news.  Brazil’s JBS S.A., the world’s largest meat processing company, was targeted this week by a ransomware attack that, according to reports, appeared to have originated from a criminal group likely operating in Russia, shutting ...
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Cryptocurrency: Entrepreneurs Leveraging New Technology

Cryptocurrency: Entrepreneurs Leveraging New Technology

Our previous article in this series looked at the legal framework surrounding blockchain technology.  This article will look at practical uses for the technology. Blockchain technology has implications for many business owners, even those not interested in the speculative trading element in cryptocurrency which is akin to trading in the stock market.  In addition to acting as a cash replacement, cryptocurrencies have many other applications, ...
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Cryptocurrency: A Legal Framework for a Fast-Moving Technology

Cryptocurrency: A Legal Framework for a Fast-Moving Technology

Our previous article considered the technology behind cryptocurrency. This article will focus on the legal framework governing the industry.  The cryptocurrency market is subject to a patchwork of inconsistent legislation and regulations that continue to evolve, leading to uncertainty about its future.  While the blockchain industry has grown for years, regulators have not kept pace with this growth, making the desire for regulatory clarification greater ...
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Cryptocurrency: An Evolving Market Still in its Infancy and Where it Stands Today

Cryptocurrency: An Evolving Market Still in its Infancy and Where it Stands Today

Bitcoin was first introduced in a 2009 white paper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.[1]  Since then, cryptocurrencies[2], also known as virtual or digital currencies, have exploded, with thousands of different types in circulation, achieving a $2T market cap in early 2021[3], and with the number of blockchain wallet users rising to more than 70 million as of May 2021.[4] However, the blockchain concept, which ...
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New ERISA Guidance on Retirement Plan Cybersecurity

The Department of Labor (DOL) has just issued first-time retirement plan guidance to address cybersecurity risks for employers, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers and plan participants.  The guidance is in the form of recommended best practices to protect retirement benefits by providing strong cybersecurity practices for employers and plan service providers and online security tips for participants. The concern is that with millions of dollars accumulating in ...
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East Meets West: Virginia Follows California's Example with Comprehensive Consumer Data Protection Legislation

East Meets West: Virginia Follows California’s Example with Comprehensive Consumer Data Protection Legislation

Article published in Virginia Lawyer | April 2021 | VOL. 69 | The Construction Law and Public Contracts Issue | Page 45 ...
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Protecting Your Organization: Eastern District of Virginia Rules Cybersecurity Incident Report Not Privileged Work Product

On May 26, 2020, in In re Capital One Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL 1:19md2915 (E.D. Va.) the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division) (Anderson, J.) held that a forensic investigation report conducted by a third-party investigator under the direction of outside counsel on behalf of Capital One in response to a data breach was not entitled to protection ...
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COVID-19 And Teleworking – Making Sure Businesses And Their Employees Are On The Same Page

COVID-19 And Teleworking – Making Sure Businesses And Their Employees Are On The Same Page

Your employee is sitting at his or her home office working on a project and notices an email in his or her inbox with the subject line: “Urgent Request” or “Please get this done ASAP.” Not wanting to miss an urgent communication from work in this age of telework, your employee immediately switches tasks to review the email.  It appears that the email has come ...
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Be Vigilant - Covid-19 Creates Additional Opportunities For Fraud

Be Vigilant – Covid-19 Creates Additional Opportunities For Fraud

As the spread of COVID-19 virus creates anxiety and uncertainty across the globe, it also creates new opportunities for cyber fraud. On Saturday, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint for a Temporary Restraining Order in the Western District of Texas against defendant, “John Doe” who, according to the complaint, “acting alone or in concert with others” operated a website known as ...
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Cyber Liability Insurance for Small to Medium Size Businesses - Are You Covered?

Cyber Liability Insurance for Small to Medium Size Businesses – Are You Covered?

Today, it seems hardly a month passes without a report of another business falling victim to a data breach. Over the past few years, some of the largest and well-known companies such as Equifax, Target, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, Anthem, Sony Pictures, and Uber, have been affected by data breaches. These companies have experienced significant losses, totaling millions of dollars. While larger companies may possess ...
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DoD Introduces New Cybersecurity Certification for Defense Contractors

With the federal government’s first False Claims Act case based on cybersecurity regulations from the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA making its way through the courts, (United States ex rel. Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.) and the continuing issues surrounding the implementation of the 2016 amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)  designed to safeguard controlled unclassified information, defense contractors  are ...
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Business Email Compromise Scams and Malware: Why Construction Companies Should Worry

From 3D printing and drone use, to increased use of tablets, laptops, smartphones, and wearables, the construction industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the use of technology. Use of augmented reality programs, advanced tracking technologies, and multi-user cloud-based platforms are on the rise; and while these technologies can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and increase worksite safety, they also come with increased risk. This article discusses ...
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Ransomware – What it is, how to avoid it, and what to do if you are infected.

Ransomware has been one of the top cyber threats in the past several years. Thanks to the WannaCry attack of 2017 and others, most people have heard of this type of cyber threat, but many do not know how it works, how to protect against it, or what to do if they are infected.  Here are some suggestions to include in your overall cyber risk ...
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Malware – A Persistent Threat to the Maritime Industry

Malware – A Persistent Threat to the Maritime Industry

During the last several years, many industries have fallen victim to cyber-attacks, and the maritime industry is not immune.  Consider the following recent news reports:  In 2017, the largest container shipping company in the world, A.P. MØller-Maersk, fell victim to NotPetya, a type of destructive malware, that required the installation of 4,000 new servers, 45,000 new PCs and 2,500 applications, costing the organization between $250 ...
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Patent

Patent Trolls – What Businesses Need To Know

One day, you receive a letter from a company or law firm accusing your business of patent infringement.  The letter states that in order to avoid a costly lawsuit, you must pay the company a licensing fee.  You ask yourself whether this is some type of scam and you consider simply throwing the letter away because you have never heard of this company and you ...
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Canada’s New Data Breach Reporting Requirements In Effect As Of November 1, 2018

Effective November 1, 2018, organizations engaged in commercial activities in certain Canadian provinces and territories  now have additional data breach reporting requirements pursuant to the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA1) and the Breach of Security Safeguards Regulations2. While Quebec3, British Columbia4 and Alberta5 previously adopted substantially similar data breach requirements, if personal information during the course of a commercial activity crosses borders, ...
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Five Steps to Greater Cybersecurity Health for Community Associations

Media reports concerning cyber attacks continue to increase.  Over the past few years, some of the largest and well-known companies have been affected by data breaches. These companies have experienced millions of dollars in losses as a result.  Even a small data breach impacting only a few thousand records can expose a business to significant losses that may have a devastating impact including causing a ...
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Federal Law Considerations For Data Custodians Operating Within Ftca § 5

Federal Law Considerations For Data Custodians Operating Within Ftca § 5

The last article discussed the consent orders that typically result from Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTCA”) § 5 enforcement actions. This article, the final in a four-article series on data custodianship, discusses some sector-specific laws and provides links for further research.  While these laws are more industry-specific than FTCA § 5, these laws provide the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), other agencies, and sometimes individual victims ...
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