Identity theft, fraud, and the tarnishing of a company’s good name aren’t the only things that might result from a data breach. There will be expensive fines and legal fees as a result of compliance violations. Data breaches and cybersecurity mishaps are increasingly leading to legal action, according to the latest studies of litigation trends. Having more stringent cybersecurity measures in place would seem to be the obvious solution, but hackers keep developing ever more complex malware and exploits to get around these safeguards.

According to a recent survey of litigation trends, more businesses are being sued after security incidents.
Sixty-six percent of businesses surveyed in Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2018 Annual Litigation Survey said they were more vulnerable to cyberattacks. This figure has risen sharply from 44% in 2020, before the lockdowns were enacted due to the outbreak. More people are working remotely, leaving them open to cyber threats like phishing, ransomware, and more.

When questioned in the survey about why they felt more vulnerable, respondents listed a variety of factors. Respondents mentioned changes in the legal and compliance landscapes, the growing need to store customer data in the cloud, the impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns causing employees to work from home, the need to adapt to a constantly shifting cybersecurity landscape to account for new threats, and malicious and accidental insider threats.

Those who reported being less vulnerable said they had strengthened cybersecurity safeguards and adapted their strategy to accommodate remote workers. In order to keep up with the constantly changing IT world, these businesses either added new security measures, started using the cloud and took advantage of its built-in security measures, or improved the security measures they already had.

Compliance Regulations and Their Future Development

Several new compliance standards and amendments to old ones have been enacted in recent years in an effort to increase corporate accountability for data breaches. New cybersecurity and risk management procedures were proposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the purpose of safeguarding individuals’ financial information. In order to reduce potential dangers and stop unauthorized individuals from gaining access to private information, new standards have been developed. For banks, investment firms, and financial business development firms to follow new rules, they need to make urgent changes to their security architecture or face harsh penalties.

The New York State Department of Banking Services (NYDFS) has proposed new regulations for the financial sector. If new regulations are implemented, financial institutions will be obligated to strengthen their cybersecurity procedures to safeguard their IT systems that house confidential information from the most prevalent cybersecurity risks. If a company fails to adequately protect its customers’ financial information, it could face penalties of several million dollars. Multi-factor authentication (MFA), mandatory breach notification within a certain time frame, and a thorough and formal cybersecurity risk assessment are just a few examples of the many measures that must be taken.

Litigation Avoidance Due to cyberattacks

There is a time crunch for organizations to adopt new policies. Putting off control deployment till the last minute increases the likelihood of errors and the omission of critical controls, both of which can render an organization noncompliant. Before scrambling to meet a deadline, businesses can get a head start on establishing the best cybersecurity safeguards.

As phishing emails are the entry point for the majority of advanced attacks, blocking them at the network perimeter is essential for good cybersecurity. While email filters aren’t foolproof, they do significantly lessen the likelihood that your inbox will be compromised by ransomware, spyware, or other sophisticated threats. When an email is detected as potentially malicious, it is moved to a special holding area called “quarantine” until it can be thoroughly examined. After reading the message, administrators decide if it is a false positive, in which case it is sent to the user’s inbox, or whether it is part of an active attack, which is investigated.

Phishing attacks can also be thwarted by using a content filter. In complex attacks, the target may be tricked into visiting a website controlled by the attacker. This website is malicious because it downloads software onto the user’s device. Frequently, the payload is ransomware, which encrypts files and demands ransom payments from organizations. Without the private key, decrypting encrypted files is impossible; therefore, businesses are left with two options: pay the ransom or restore data from a backup.

While training people to spot phishing attempts is beneficial, email and content filters provide a more reliable backup plan in case users are fooled. Users being given the tools to identify phishing attempts is good, but it is not without its flaws. Since phishing attacks have proved successful even against the best-protected businesses, social engineering is another tactic that could be used in an attack.