Devine Millimet understands that in today’s connected world, we place our trust in the security of computer networks. Vast amounts of our most personal and private data, from social security numbers and financial information to health information and details of our private lives, are stored in cyber-space. In addition, manufacturing processes utility grids and many other networked systems and devices are now part of the internet of things. Hackers, cyber-criminals and even state-sponsored organizations are constantly probing computer networks to find security flaws. Malware or viruses may be installed onto point of sale systems used by merchants, computers or other devices – including tablets and smartphones -- and remain dormant for a long time before a cyber-attack is launched, leading to the theft of private data that is then sold and traded through the Dark Internet, leading to identity theft and financial crimes.
Our litigation team helps financial institutions, merchants, health care providers, and other organizations of all sizes when there has been a breach of computer networks on which personal and private data is stored. We assist in investigations; interactions with law enforcement and regulatory authorities; the formulation of appropriate damage control plans, including communication strategies and public relations; insurance issues; pursuing claims against third parties who may bear some or all of the responsibility for a cyber attack; and against claims by individuals who contend that they suffered damages as a result of a data breach or other improper disclosure of private information.
Having one of the largest groups of trial lawyers in northern New England allows us to handle cases efficiently, connecting our clients with the resources most appropriate for the matter at hand. For larger or more complex matters, we are able to call on our bench strength to provide the depth of resources needed to handle the case to a successful conclusion.
In the event of a successful cyber-attack, our litigation team works closely with the professionals in our government and public affairs affiliate, Devine Strategies, and with attorneys in our business group to identify all appropriate regulatory obligations and to formulate a communication plan that includes notice to affected individuals, notice to government agencies, and press and public relations. We also assess potential exposures and help develop mitigation plans to minimize those exposures.
Many insurance companies now offer cyber-security protection, but in the event of a cyber-attack, the policy may not always provide the coverage that was expected. We help our clients understand their options and can assist in negotiations with insurance companies. We have a long history of litigating insurance coverage disputes and, when necessary, we can guide our clients through lawsuits involving these kinds of issues.
Class Actions and Other Data Breach Litigation
In the event of a significant data breach, it is to be expected that litigation may result. Often, prompt action following discovery of these incidents can minimize the exposure, but even in cases where identity theft and other consequences can be controlled, a lawsuit may be commenced. The Devine Millimet litigation team understands the issues that arise in class actions and other lawsuits involving data breaches, and can help defend such cases.
Our lawyers have successfully handled invasion of privacy and other lawsuits brought by individuals who claimed that their private information was improperly publicized on the Internet. We have the experience and knowledge needed to understand the issues that arise when content posted on social media, websites and other Internet-based applications is alleged to contain information that was not intended for public disclosure. We can help resolve such issues through negotiation and, when necessary, through litigation.