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How to Recover Damages If Your Business Is Cyber Attacked

Posted on in Cyber Crime

Tampa cyber law attorney cyber attack damagesCyber threats are a serious and growing risk for American and global businesses. A 2017 study by the Ponemon Institute and Accenture, based on data from over 250 large companies across seven countries, reported an average of 130 security breaches per company in 2017, a 27% increase over the prior year. Ransomware attacks are a particular concern, and the reported frequency of these attacks doubled from 2016 to 2017.

Computer system hackers may be aiming to steal trade secrets, obtain personal data that can be used for identity theft, or simply cause trouble for a business out of spite. Whatever the motive, any type of security breach can cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars in system repair costs and loss of revenue.

Cyber Damages Claims Under Federal and Florida State Law

What can a business do to recover damages from a cyber attack? There are remedies under both federal and state law.

  • Federal law - One option is to get federal law enforcement involved to identify and prosecute the criminal responsible for the attack. Since the mid-1980s, cyber crimes have been widely prosecuted under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. As it applies to businesses, this law prohibits unauthorized access of a computer used in interstate commerce to obtain something of value or cause damage. In addition to criminal penalties, the law allows the victim to file a civil lawsuit for damages.
  • Florida state law - Florida passed a new law in 2015 to make it easier for businesses to recover monetary damages from hackers and data thieves.  The Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA), F.S. §668.801, allows a business to file a civil action against persons who intentionally cause harm or loss by (1) taking information from a computer without authorization, (2) transmitting a harmful program (e.g., malware or ransomware) to a computer, or (3) trafficking in passwords or other codes that would provide unauthorized access to a computer. The business can sue for compensation of actual damages, including lost profits. The business can also request an injunction to prevent a future CADRA violation and to recover the stolen information. 

Contact a Tampa Cyber Crimes Attorney 

If your business has suffered damages from a hacker attack or data breach, you need an attorney who understands both the technology issues and the law. You will need to file a claim for damages in either federal or state court, and an experienced Florida cyber law attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your situation. At Nelson Cyber Law, PLLC, we are immersed daily in cyber law issues and stay up-to-date on technology-related statutes and court decisions in order to provide the quality representation you need. Call us today at 1-800-440-5536.




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