How to Handle a Commercial Data Breach

Data breaches are the single greatest threat to business continuity today. Companies that range from startups to established enterprises are all targets of criminals who continually find new ways to hack into an organization’s infrastructure. Over the last two years, three of the largest and supposedly most secure companies in the world – Amazon, Google, and Facebook – have all fallen prey to multiple data breaches, proving that there is no safeguard against a cyberattack.

The fallout from a commercial data breach is far-reaching. Statistically, 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a cyber incident. On average, larger corporations lose just over eight million dollars per breach. Financial losses may include network upgrades, staff re-training, reputation repair and management, and loss of revenue. However, a large portion of damages involves legal issues and compliance penalties.

The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz can provide legal guidance and representation if your company has suffered a commercial data breach. David represents clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as San Mateo, San Jose, Santa Clara, Oakland, and Alameda County, California.

Dealing with Data Breaches from a Legal Perspective

Most data breaches occur as a result of human error, illegal activity, or malicious activity. Regardless of how the breach occurred, a company is liable for the breach in several ways:

  • Compensating customers whose private information has been compromised
  • Facing state, federal, or industry regulatory penalties
  • Fighting legal battles with partnering companies affected by the breach
  • Becoming the target of a possible criminal investigation

Following a breach, a company’s strategy for recovery should be strategic, timely, and transparent. Furthermore, business owners or executives should secure legal representation to handle lawsuits and other forms of litigation that arise. If the individual or group responsible for the data breach is identified, a company should hire a lawyer to determine how to respond legally to the guilty parties.

An Attorney’s Role in Recovering from a Data Breach

Regardless of who is to blame for a data breach, companies need to handle all legal matters as professionally and ethically as possible. The company will also be responsible for conducting a thorough investigation into the matter to uncover the facts surrounding the breach.

A business litigation attorney can provide counsel to a company on all legal matters and guide the owners or executives through the process. There are several reasons why having an attorney is vital after a breach including:

Attorney-Client Privilege

Although a data breach can become a public matter, companies often handle private information. As such, the information they share with an attorney must be kept private in the face of heavy scrutiny from customers, business partners, government agencies, and the public.

Settlement Negotiation

The state of California requires companies to carry some form of liability insurance to protect employees or customers. Once a claim is submitted, an attorney can act on behalf of the company to negotiate a fair settlement. A lawyer will work to get the maximum compensation possible based on the circumstances of the case.

Full Investigation

A lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of the data breach to determine which parties are liable and how the breach occurred. A legal team can obtain evidence, speak to witnesses, hire experts, and gather documents.

Full Legal Representation

Companies must address a data breach and report to various entities on different levels. An attorney can become the point of contact and engage with all relevant parties on behalf of the client.

Business Litigation Attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area

The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz provides comprehensive legal services in cases involving business litigation. Get a free case assessment with a commercial litigation attorney today. The Law Offices of David H. Schwartz proudly serves clients in Oakland, Alameda County, San Mateo, San Jose, Santa Clara, and throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.


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