Cyber-security data breaches are an invasion of an employee’s privacy. At HKM Employment Attorneys, we are committed to helping victims of employment-related data breaches in Riverside, California. Our attorneys have extensive experience filing class-action lawsuits for employees who have been the victims of data breaches.
Employers Must Use Reasonable Care to Keep Employee Data Safe
Employers have a duty to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures to protect the personal identifying information (PII) of their employees. When employers breach this duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly, they put their employees at risk of becoming the victims of cyber criminals. These types of cyber attacks are on the rise, and employers could be expensing their employees to tax fraud, medical fraud, credit card fraud, and phishing scams.
How Do Cybercriminals Target Employees?
Cybercriminals are constantly targeting employee data stored by employers. They specifically target information with sensitive health and financial information. Cybercriminals will often hack into company e-mails. They may impersonate executives within the company by sending out “phishing” emails to company employees. Scammers may request access to sensitive and confidential information or seek to transfer large sums of money from the company. These types of scams are usually called Business E-mail Compromise Scams (BEC).
Unfortunately, phishing scams can cause massive losses of sensitive information that can cause significant future damage to the company’s employees. Consequently, law enforcement and cyber-security professionals consistently warn corporations about similar types of cyber threats and provide guidelines for best practices and training for preventing, detecting, and handling cyber-attacks.
Many Cyber Criminals Pursue W-2 Data
W-2 data and employee PII are highly pursued by cyber criminals as collected information allows for not only identity theft and future financial wrongs but fraudulent tax filings through the victim’s name. When cybercriminals obtain an employee’s confidential information, it is commonly sold on the black market, specifically on torrent networks. This information is often used to commit financial fraud within hours of cyber criminals obtaining the information.
Many Data Breaches are Caused By Insider Threats
Many employees know the ins and outs of their employer’s infrastructure and cybersecurity tools. Every month there are hundreds of malicious and inadvertent insider security threats every month. With insider threats, an employee of the company either knowingly or accidentally shares employment information with cybercriminals. Doing so can cause data breaches that harm companies and their employees.
Insider attacks are most likely caused by negligent or inadvertent users, criminal or malicious insiders, or attackers that stole user credentials. Insider attacks are dangerous because insiders do not act maliciously most of the time. This can make it harder to detect harmful insider activities than it is to detect attacks from outsiders. Insiders know the company’s weaknesses in terms of organizational cybersecurity. Insiders also know the nature and location of sensitive data they can exploit.
Data Breaches Can Harm Employees for Years to Come
When an employer’s systems are exposed through a data breach, employees can suffer damage for years after the initial breach. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides notifications and updates on cyber-security threats, including warnings about these exact types of threats. The U.S. government and several private security research firms widely distribute reports about all of the many new types of malicious cyber-security threats that place employers on notice that are at risk.
Proven Experience in Employment Data-Breach Cases
In March 2016, HKM Employment Attorneys filed a class action lawsuit against a pharmacy employer. We represented over 800 employees whose information was stolen due to their employer’s inadequate security measures.
In April 2016, HKM Employment Attorneys filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 1,500 employees. In this case, a real estate investment employer failed to stop a cyber-attack that compromised employees’ data. We regularly review allegations of data breaches and actively investigate reports from employees in Riverside and throughout California.
Your Employer Should Have Known Better
While it can be easy to feel sorry for your employer’s losses, it is important you think of your own damages first and foremost. Your employer has received constant warnings from cybersecurity professionals and law enforcement about phishing scams and hacks. Your employer most likely had the opportunity to enhance their security system, prevention methods, and employee training.
When your employer was hacked, they failed to take reasonable steps to protect you and your personal information. Your employer has an obligation to protect your personal information from cyber-attacks. When they fail to do so, you have the right to hold them accountable by pursuing a legal claim against them.
What Employers Should Do to Protect Employees from Data Breaches in Riverside
Employers must implement cybersecurity measures in light of the size of their company and the nature of its work. Larger businesses and relatively small businesses that process a lot of payments should hire cybersecurity personnel on a full-time basis, even if it is on a consulting basis. Other steps businesses should take to protect their customers and employees include the following:
- Install software updates on their electronic devices promptly
- Have a cybersecurity team diagnose weaknesses in the system’s security regularly
- Require strong passwords for employees’ email accounts and web portal access
- Require two-factor identification for employees to access company devices and online accounts
If you realize your work has been the target of a data breach, it is essential to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. If you have suffered financial losses because of hackers breaching your employer’s computer network or stealing your personal information, you have the right to sue your employer for damages.
Have You Been the Victim of a Data Breach? We Can Help
HKM Employment Attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of employees, including their data-based rights. If you know or suspect that your data information has been disclosed to cyber criminals because of your employer’s negligence, we are here to help. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can fight for you and your rights.