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Eversheds comment: Hackers’ trophy target FBI highlights threat to all organisations

  • South Africa
  • Africa

    09-02-2016

    Commenting on the news that the FBI has been hacked and contact info of 20,000 employees leaked online Paula Barrett, international head of data protection at law firm Eversheds, says:

    “Whilst there will be those reading this news with a wry smile, this demonstrates in a very serious way that all organisations face this threat. Perhaps the profile and role of this organisation make them a particular trophy target but if they can be hacked, it does seem to reinforce the message of ‘it’s not if but when’ your organisation will face this. There is often a danger that the more sophisticated an organisation is thought to be on security, the more it will be targeted and perversely this can make it more vulnerable. Security around employee data is all too often less robust than that around other ‘core data’, often making it the weakest link”

    “With mandatory data security breach reporting and greater regulatory fines coming to Europe when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes effective, all organisations and businesses subject to GDPR, including those in the US monitoring or sales targeting EU citizens, will need to ensure they are suitably prepared against cyber-attack and how to act if the worst happens.

    “Taking a week to identify a serious security breach will not be an option under GDPR.”

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