In the Internet age, it is easy to feel like everyone knows everything about you. Even if you have never seen an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you can probably name all of Kim’s children and siblings, and you are probably aware that she is getting a divorce from Kanye West, even if you are a bit fuzzy on the details of how she got so famous in the first place. Of course, just looking at the most famous media celebrities and wannabe celebrities gives you a skewed view of just how much of everyone’s business is out there. If your former high school classmate posts pictures of her every outfit and every brunch on Instagram, it does not mean that the whole world can see your every brunch and every outfit. Furthermore, privacy laws require many of the parties that know potentially sensitive information about you to keep that information confidential. Banks know all the gory details about your finances, and doctors know all the dirt about your health, but the law prevents them from sharing any of that information without your consent. Meanwhile, if your employer directly deposits your salary or wages into your bank account and provides health insurance for you and your family, then your employer knows a lot of things about you that you probably do not talk about at work, or at least, its computer systems know. A data breach of an employer’s computer systems can be bad news for employees and customers, as well as for the company itself. If a company where you work or where you have been a client has suffered a data breach, contact the Irvine data breach lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP.
How Do Data Breaches Happen?
A data breach is when unauthorized users access the computer network or online files of a company or organization. It is a large-scale version of a person’s computer or email address getting hacked, and it can result in millions of dollars of financial losses. Hackers use many of the same tactics to target individual victims as they do to target companies, such as logging into password-protected accounts by correctly guessing passwords or using phishing scams to trick victims into disclosing their login information. At the corporate level, data breaches can also happen when hackers steal customers’ credit card information from point-of-sale devices.
Why Data Breaches are So Destructive
Illegally accessing one person’s email account can cause problems for more people than just the original victim. For example, if hackers get access to your email account, they can send spam emails to everyone in your contact list, trying to fool them into clicking on malicious links and attachments that are not what they seem. If one employee of a large company falls for a phishing scam and unwittingly gives the password to their work computer to a hacker, then the hacker will be able to access all the data stored on the company’s computer network. If the computers include the bank account information of employees and the credit card information of customers signed up for automatic payments, the hackers can help themselves to millions of dollars belonging to thousands of people connected to the company. They can even do plenty of damage even without stealing financial information. If your company keeps customers’ birthdates on file in order to offer promotional birthday gifts, hackers can still do a lot of damage if they can access birth dates, phone numbers, email addresses, and postal addresses. In other words, almost all the information on the computer network can be food for identity theft if it falls into the hands of the wrong people.
Customers and employees who suffer financial losses because of the theft of their confidential information during a data breach have the right to seek damages from the company where the breach occurred. Companies have a duty of care to protect their employees, vendors, and customers from identity theft by maintaining and following cybersecurity procedures sufficient to prevent data breaches. The Irvine data breach lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP have helped the victims of corporate data breaches collect damages in class action lawsuits against companies that failed to protect their employees’ and customers’ data from cyberattacks.
How Companies Can Protect Themselves and Prevent Data Breaches
Cybersecurity is your best protection against data breaches and the resulting lawsuits. Depending on the size of your company, it may be sufficient to engage the services of cybersecurity firms on a consulting basis, or you might need to keep a full-time cybersecurity team on your company’s payroll. The Wannacry ransomware attack of 2017 serves as a cautionary tale about keeping your cybersecurity strategy up to date. When customers of affected companies filed data breach lawsuits, the court ruled against the companies, because by the time of the attacks, Microsoft had issued a patch that would protect against the ransomware, but the affected companies had failed to implement it.
Companies should also require two-factor authentication for logins to company computers or employee email accounts. Two-factor authentication typically requires the employee to enter a password and also respond to an alert on their phone verifying that they are trying to log in. It also makes sense to require employees to change their email passwords every few months.
How a Data Breach Lawyer Can Help You if Your Company is a Victim of Hacking
The data breach lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can help you sort out lots of legal issues related to cybersecurity and data breaches. Whether it comes to employment contracts for cybersecurity personnel or representing data breach victims in lawsuits, your lawyer can help protect your legal rights and financial interests.
Contact HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP About Data Breaches in Irvine
HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP represents employees whose employers have failed to protect the data on their computer systems by providing adequate cybersecurity and preventing data breaches. Contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Irvine, California to set up a consultation.