Firm takes leading role during National Cyber Security Awareness Month

With October marking National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, a full-service business law firm with offices throughout New York, has unveiled additional resources on the firm’s website to help businesses take steps to assess their cyber risk and to understand the many state-level data breach notification laws across the United States.

Visitors to the Harter Secrest & Emery website can now download and complete a Legal/Regulatory Risk Inventory to help identify and understand possible elements of legal risk arising from a potential data breach. In addition, an interactive map provides a summary of the 47 different state-level data breach notification laws currently in effect in the United States. The variations in the laws, and the overlap and potential conflict between them, can make responding to a data breach difficult, whether a company does business in multiple states, or has customers, employees, or even former employees, in different states.

“With continued advances in technology come new techniques cyber criminals are using to gain access to protected networks, so it is imperative that entities of all sizes be prepared for the inevitable cyberattack,” said F. Paul Greene, partner and chair of the Privacy and Data Security practice group at Harter Secrest & Emery. “We continue to see breaches occur at every level of business, from corporate giants to local startups. Hackers are more sophisticated and view any portion of the mountain of information companies store and transmit as an opportunity. Our job is to work with clients to identify and help mitigate the resulting risk.”

In addition to the new online tools, Greene and other members of the Privacy and Data Security practice group author a regular blog, which provides updates, insights, and best practices in planning for, preventing, and responding to cyberattacks. The blog is written for in-house counsel, IT professionals, financial officers, human resource professionals, executive team members, business owners, media representatives, and anyone who wants to stay informed on the changing landscape of cyber risk. Blog topics have included: tips for businesses to avoid phishing scams, recently proposed DFS regulations in New York, an introduction to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and other recent developments in cyber security regulation.

Greene was a featured speaker at the recent Rochester Security Summit. Over the next several weeks, he and other Harter Secrest & Emery attorneys will be joining industry experts at numerous events and conferences to address important data security topics, including: the legal aspects of cyber risk, emerging cyber threats, the ever-changing landscape of cyber regulation, FTC expectations and enforcement, best practices in breach response, and preservation of breach-related evidence and the attorney-client privilege.

“Vigilance begins with awareness and education, which is why efforts like National Cyber Security Awareness Month are helpful,” Greene said. “Businesses who once thought they were safe are quickly finding out otherwise. Given the reality of cyber threats and the growing legal risk associated with a cyberattack, it is important that businesses and individuals understand how to protect themselves.”

Harter Secrest & Emery Privacy and Data Security attorneys counsel clients of all sizes in a wide range of industries concerning all aspects of pre-breach preparation and risk management, including security and vulnerability assessments, policy and procedure review, breach response planning and drills, as well as board and management education on cyber risk issues. In the event of a breach, Greene and his colleagues provide a full array of breach coach and response services, including breach response and remediation, crisis management and communication, internal and governmental investigations, breach notification, and potential litigation or regulatory action. Clients have included a major credit card and travel-related services company, a multi-state long-term care group, a regional health insurer, publicly traded companies, a regional hospitality group, financial institutions, higher education institutions, and a large automotive dealership group, among others.

About Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP is a full-service business law firm providing legal services to clients ranging from individuals and family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies and major regional institutions. With offices in Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Corning, and New York City, New York, the firm is a recognized leader in corporate, employee benefits, environmental and land use, healthcare, higher education, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, and trusts and estate law. Harter Secrest & Emery has 32 U.S. News - Best Lawyers 2016 “Best Law Firms” top tier practice group rankings - more Western New York rankings than any other law firm. The firm has been top ranked in Chambers USA for Corporate/M&A, Litigation and Immigration law and 46 attorneys are recognized as The Best Lawyers in America in 2017. 

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