Are You Comfortable with the Cost of a Data Breach?

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Are You Comfortable with the Cost of a Data Breach? By Aimee B. DavisWhile some people still shy away from online shopping in order to minimize disclosure of their personal data, it’s getting harder to keep personal information private and protected.

In order to function effectively and efficiently in the digital age, we are pretty much forced to share personal information with certain retailers, the IRS, banks and other financial institutions. But even if you work hard to minimize your online exposure, it’s virtually impossible to avoid having some online presence in 2015. And we live in a time where data breaches are not only commonplace, but seem to be increasing.

When Target suffered a data hack in 2013, it reserved $10 million for plaintiffs who could demonstrate financial loss. But proving actual loss in cases like this can be difficult. The currently available legal responses implemented by corporations such as Target may be inadequate to address the risks of data breaches. While responsible retailers continue to employ “best practices” for responding to data hacks, we remain painfully inept at assessing and valuing the non-financial losses that result.

Are we simply putting a Bandaid on a much larger and grosser problem?

Recently, I was the victim of not 1 but 2 breaches of my personal data. Tragic as that was, this was not the first time I faced identity theft. As a result, I was better prepared this time around to respond and react. Here’s what happened:

My business bank account was hacked and my credit card was cancelled. This created several lost-opportunity costs while waiting for a new card to be sent to me, and wasted time re-establishing credit authorizations for vendors with whom I do business.

Far more disturbing than that, I faced a potential loss of important data on a recent Friday afternoon after receiving a text message stating that “my account was being suspended due to suspicious activity.” Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to be notified, but Google didn’t identify themselves, so I didn’t know my Google password needed to be changed.

Before I realized it was Google, I created and sent a detailed email to opposing counsel. I watched in horror as my hard work appeared to be lost in cyberspace. Recreating the email would have taken several hours. As it was, I faced an opportunity cost, having to postpone a business meeting in order to sort all of this out.

These most recent incidents called to my attention other significant costs of data breaches, which are not so easily quantified, such as wasted time and opportunities.

While we can’t avoid data breaches, it’s best to work with reliable vendors who notify us clearly and immediately about actions that need to be taken to protect our online activity and accounts.

Are the costs associated with actual and potential data hacks worth the risk of online convenience?

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com

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2 Responses to Are You Comfortable with the Cost of a Data Breach?

  1. Pingback: Are You Comfortable with the Cost of a Data Breach? | Aimee B. Davis

  2. Elena Zazanis says:

    I can’t wait for whatever is going to replace the ever pesky “password” because I know have to keep a book of all mine next to my computer.

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