Recent developments reinforce the urgent need for general counsel and legal departments to deepen their focus on cybersecurity. In today’s environment, any organization can be the target of a cyberattack, regardless of industry, size, or geographic footprint. Indeed, in just the past few years, a variety of cyber adversaries have attacked financial institutions, social media sites, a movie studio, hospital systems, a peer-to-peer ridesharing company, the Democratic National Committee, hotel chains, city governments, educational institutions, telecommunications and energy utilities, prominent retailers, manufacturers, and even the mobile app of a well-known coffee and donut chain.
In a legislative environment charitably described as challenging, the fact that the Senate recently passed cybersecurity legislation by unanimous consent is noteworthy and highlights the bipartisan nature of this issue. The DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Act responds to the recent spate of ransomware attacks against government agencies and private sector organizations. It would require the Department of Homeland Security to form “cyber hunt” and incident response teams that could be called upon to assist federal, state, and local entities to respond to a ransomware or other type of cybersecurity incident or to identify vulnerabilities in their systems that may increase the likelihood and success of a future attack. While continued government attention to the availability of cybersecurity capabilities should be welcomed by the private sector, the extent to which businesses will directly benefit from this legislation is unclear given its focus.
Join us on Thursday 19 September for the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity KnowledgeShare in London. We will share our latest thinking on the key privacy and cybersecurity issues faced by those with data protection responsibilities within organisations. Our all-day event will cover a lot of ground through incisive quick-fire presentations, Q&A panels and hands-on workshops.
Assuming a fair amount of hard work and that the EU institutions are able to put their political skills to good use, 2015 may be the year that sees the culmination of a legal modernisation process that has been running for the best part of four years. It was in 2010 when the European Commission formally acknowledged that the 1995 Data Protection Directive was ready for a makeover to address the privacy and data protection needs of the 21 century. Since then, stakeholders covering a whole spectrum of views have participated in a process that is approaching a decisive stage. In early 2014, the European Parliament came forward with a bold proposal to amend the Commission’s original draft and put the ball firmly in the Council of the EU’s court. As the Council finalises its own proposal, a picture of what the new framework will look like is starting to emerge.