In many industries, much of your work is simply information stored on the hard drives of computers or on cloud-based software somewhere in the ether. If you need evidence of this, consider how seamlessly some office jobs were able to transition to remote work and then back to the office during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work goes on without catered lunches, water cooler gossip, and meetings that could have been emails. When work really gets disrupted is when hackers steal data from a company’s computer networks or online storage and then cause the computers to malfunction. Getting back to work after a data breach is the easy part; the biggest problem is the financial losses that the data breach causes for the company and the parties whose data got stolen. If you have suffered financial losses or identity theft because of a cyberattack at your workplace, contact the New York City data breach lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP.
Why are Data Breaches Such a Disaster in New York City?
Imagine how disruptive it would be if all the information got erased from your personal cell phone or computer. Now multiply that by the number of people who have information of theirs stored on the computer system of a business, and you have an idea of how big of a problem workplace data breaches are. The files on the company’s computers contain addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and even sometimes social security numbers of customers and employees of the company.
Business email scams are an especially dangerous form of data breach. In this type of scam, hackers send a phishing email that is meant to look like it came from inside the organization; for example, it might bear the company’s logo or be sent from an email address that resembles those used within the company. All it takes for thousands of people’s identifying and financial information to get stolen is for one employee to fall for the scam. Once the hackers get one person to provide a password or download an attachment that contains malware, they can steal all the data stored on the company’s computer files.
The financial losses resulting from a data breach can be substantial for each of the people or businesses that get their data stolen; data breaches are as damaging as any other kind of identity theft. They can also be disastrous for the business where the breach occurred. People who suffered identity theft and other financial crimes as a result of the theft of their data have the right to file data breach lawsuits against the company that suffered the breach. This is because businesses have a legal responsibility to keep employees’ and customers’ data safe from cyberattacks. Failure to implement a cybersecurity strategy is considered negligence, and people who suffer financial losses because of it have the right to seek damages in a civil lawsuit. Perhaps the biggest harm that a cyberattack or data breach can cause to a company is the harm to its reputation.
What Employers Should Do to Protect Themselves From Data Breaches in NYC
As of 2022, businesses have been storing information on computer networks for decades, and the threat of data breaches is well known. Not choosing and following a cybersecurity strategy to protect customers’ and employees’ data is as irresponsible as leaving the customers’ and employees’ property unattended where anyone can easily steal it. Cybersecurity is not just something fancy to impress investors with your technological prowess; it is a legal responsibility. Consider that courts have ordered companies to pay large settlements to plaintiffs whose data was stolen in data breaches when the court found that patches that would have protected against malware were available at the time of the attack and the breach would not have happened if the company had had its cybersecurity team or cybersecurity consultants apply the patch.
The best way to implement cybersecurity measures depends on the size of your company and the nature of its work. The biggest businesses, as well as relatively small businesses that process a lot of payments, should hire cybersecurity personnel full time. If it is a small business that stores information belonging to a limited number of people, then you can afford to engage the services of cybersecurity personnel on a consulting basis.
These are some things companies can do to prevent data breaches and improve their cybersecurity:
- Install software updates on their devices promptly
- Have their cybersecurity theme diagnose weaknesses in the system’s security on a regular basis
- Require strong passwords for employees’ email accounts and web portal access
- Require two-factor identification for employees to access company devices and online accounts
What Employees Should Do if Their Data Gets Stolen From an Employer’s Computer Network
If the company where you work becomes a target of a data breach, then all the angry phone calls from customers whose credit card information and bank account numbers got stolen are the least of your worries. When hackers infiltrate a company’s computer networks, then employees are just as vulnerable to identity theft as clients and vendors are. If you suffer financial losses as a result of hackers breaching your employer’s computer network and stealing your personal or financial information, you have the right to sue your employer for damages. The New York City data breach lawyers at HKM Employment Lawyers LLP have represented plaintiffs in several class action lawsuits against businesses that were targets of data breaches because they failed to follow sound strategies to protect their computer networks against cyberattacks. Employees of the company that suffered the data breach have the same rights as any other party that incurred financial losses because of a malware attack or other kind of data breach.
Contact HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP About Data Breach Claims in New York City
HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP can help you file a claim against your employer if your employer’s negligence left your information vulnerable to theft by data breach. Contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in New York, New York to set up a consultation.