No matter what size your business is, and even if you work from home, you should be aware of cyberlaw and cyber security and how it can affect your business.
Here’s an overview of some important information about cyber law.
We recommend hiring a business lawyer to help you mitigate risk and protect your assets.
What is cyberlaw?
Cyberlaw (or internet law) encompasses all things to do with internet behavior. It generally includes any kind of technology, including smartphones, tablets and computers.
Cyberlaw is a general term that applies to everyone, including private businesses, individuals, and public organizations. Cyberlaw is in place to help protect people from cyber crimes and punish those who commit them.
These laws govern all internet use at all times.
Cyberlaw encompasses three broad categories:
- Crimes against people (e.g.: harassment, stalking, pornography, identity theft)
- Crimes against property (e.g.: DDOS attacks, hacking, copyright infringement)
- Crimes against the government (e.g.: hacking, cyber terrorism)
Cyberlaw is a fairly new and evolving field. It can be complicated because of jurisdiction issues and because of emerging technology.
Not only is jurisdiction complicated because laws may be federal, criminal, or civil. In addition, the international element makes it difficult to determine which country’s laws and applicable punishments the illegal activities apply to.
Request a free strategy session with us to learn more about cyberlaw and your business.
Types of Cyber Crimes
Though the word “cyberlaw” might seem somewhat foreign, chances are you’ve heard of some common cyber crimes by now and probably hear about them regularly in the news.
Examples of common cybercrimes include:
- Unauthorized system access or “hacking.”
- Identity theft
- Social network fraud
- Online impersonation
- Child pornography
- Criminal infringement of a copyright
- Domain disputes
- Freedom of speech disputes
Certain types of cybersecurity problems started rising once the 2020 pandemic hit, including:
- Increased incidences of ransomware and malware
- Higher frequency of identity theft
- More phishing attacks
- More threats to those working from home
- Cyberattacks specifically hitting supply chains
- Industrial Control System vendors face increased security threats
No matter what type of business you run, mitigating risks to do with cyber security is crucial.
Cyberlaw and Intellectual Property (IP)
Intellectual property is a huge facet of cyberlaw that can be challenging to tackle. A perfect example of this is piracy of movies and music—it may not seem like a crime to some, but in actuality, it is stealing intellectual property from a business.
Almost all businesses today will have digital IP that needs protection.
Examples of areas that cyberlaw applies to intellectual property include:
- Trade secrets
- Social media and email use
- Privacy laws
- Non-disclosure contracts
- Data handling/data retention
- Defamation (e.g.: slander, libel)
While it’s one thing to have policies in place to protect IP, it’s another to enforce these laws, especially given the high levels of anonymity that many internet criminals have.
Cyber laws in Place
Over the past eight years or so, laws have been put into place to protect businesses and citizens from cyber crimes—here are a few examples of existing federal legislation in the U.S.:
- National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS)
- Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 (CEA)
- Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA 2014)
- Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)
The CEA, in particular, is important for private organizations because it is about ensuring that each business meets its cybersecurity standards. It is binding legislation that can be used to resolve disputes regarding cyberlaw.
Other countries have various laws and acts that they’ve passed regarding information privacy, information technology use, and electronic signature laws.
How Businesses Can Protect Themselves
Cyberlaw is in place to assist companies and citizens should there be a security breach. However, businesses must put measures in place to protect themselves.
Some suggestions include:
- Hire cyber security specialists to protect high-value assets
- Have employees change passwords every three months
- Limit employee access to data and control access to computers
- Ensuring your WIFI network is secure, encrypted, and hidden
- Regularly backing up data
- Ensuring appropriate firewall protection is in place
- Making sure machines are clean and updated to protect from threats
- Learn about government regulations promoting cyber security
- Promote awareness to employees
- Have basic security measures in place, starting with website basics
- Monitor IP with customers review sites
- Understand how email and IP will be used and protected
Read the FCC recommendations for cybersecurity for small businesses for more information.
Get a Lawyer to Protect Your Business
Cyberlaw is a complex arena and one which you shouldn’t try to tackle alone. A knowledgeable business lawyer will help you understand the law and protect your business.
When you empower yourself with a knowledge framework to ask intelligent questions, you can take smart actions to protect yourself and your business’ reputation.
Having a business lawyer on your side can help protect your business and improve your chances of success.
Call or message us today for a consultation.
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