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Getting Serious About Cybersecurity

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Hack attacks have been in the news for a while. But the most recent headlines seem to indicate that hackers are far outpacing security efforts to contain them.

In the last week, we have learned that a major health insurer was compromised, possibly exposing the data of 80 million health accounts. Data relating to medical patients is very sensitive, and the number 80 million is staggering in scope. And there have been indications that other health insurers might be vulnerable, meaning that 2015 could be the year of health insurance hacks.

On top of that, we just learned that "Anonymous" hackers have attacked the website of the President of the European Parliament. So, this tells us that not only is medical information unsafe, but government officials are not able to protect themselves from hackers.

In this troubling climate, our White House has just announced its intention to create a new agency referred to as the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. The purpose of the Center is to share intelligence across agencies to thwart cyberattacks.

At first blush, this may sound like a positive development. But on further reflection, one may question why such sharing and governmental coordination has not happened to date, especially given that successful hacks and cyberattacks have been public knowledge for years.

Fortunately, we have not witnessed a true national catastrophe resulting from a major cyberattack crippling any one of a number of our country's mission critical systems. That, however, should not lead us into continued complacency.

Significant dedication of resources in terms of skilled personnel, creative brain power, and serious funding are required in an attempt to catch up and then get of ahead of the curve when it comes to potential Internet crime, terrorism and warfare.

Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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