Avoiding cyber theft is just one side of a problem
So, like any responsible business owner, you are exceptionally aware of the risks to your data presented by cyber attacks and online hackers. We hope you are diligently working to constantly take measures to ensure that your customer’s personal data is protected. But have you spent much time looking at your legal obligations regarding the handling of that data? A data breach is more than just a risk to your business due to the defection of angry clients and brand damage. In many cases, there are laws that regulate how you handle data and which also require legal notification if a breach occurs.
Every organization needs to be aware that it is likely subject to some data protection or data security laws. You are also very likely to be subject to breach notification laws, which are laws that require a business to alert victims and/or government agencies of a data breach.
At the Federal level, the United States doesn’t have any overarching and comprehensive data protection laws of the sort that most European nations do. However, these laws do exist and they primarily affect individual sectors, such as healthcare. Presently 48 states in the US have some laws requiring private or governmental entities to notify anyone whose data has been breached. In other words, if you possess personal data, you may have a regulatory responsibility to report the breach to both a government entity and the individual victim. Meeting IT regulations can be expensive and time consuming, and they also require timely upgrades. However, failure to stay up to date can lead to fines, penalties, and a damaged reputation.