Is a Federal Data Breach Law in the Cards This Year?

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

May 31, 2016 8:30:00 AM

There's been some activity of late around efforts to pass a federal data breach law. Since 2005, the United States Congress has been trying to pass legislation to set a federal standard for what should occur when a business is hacked and sensitive personal information is stolen. Meanwhile, 47 states have passed their own laws to govern what companies need to do in the wake of a data breach. (See blog post:  Five Questions Answered about Virginia's Data Breach Law.)  A patchwork of state laws can cause compliance headaches for businesses with operations and customers in more than one state. After more than 10 years of debate, the introduction of 40-plus bills, and a growing cybersecurity threat, can Congress agree on a federal solution? 

Read More

Topics: data breach, federal policy

What's the Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?  Employees.

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Nov 17, 2015 8:30:00 AM

The majority of cybersecurity incidents can be attributed to employee error, according to a March 2015 CompTIA study.   Risky employee behavior and inadequate cybersecurity training by employers are largely to blame. With cybercrime on the rise and the cost of a breach averaging $38,000 for a small business, workforce education is a wise investment.

Read More

Topics: Security Information, small business, data breach, cybercrime, technology

Implement Best Cybersecurity Practices: Avoid FTC Enforcement

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Sep 15, 2015 8:30:00 AM

On August 24th, a federal appeals court decided that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to bring enforcement action against a company for lax cybersecurity policies.  Indeed, the FTC has pursued more than 50 data security cases against businesses.  So, what does a company need to do to stay off of FTC’s radar screen?

Read More

Topics: small business, data breach, cybercrime

Tips for an Effective Company Email Policy

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Sep 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM

We've been hearing a lot in the news about the misuse by government employees of work or official email.  (Think: fomer Secretary of State, Ms. Lerner at the IRS, and federal employees looking for extra-marital friends). It may lead us to think about how we or our employees use email and if it violates company policy.  And, perhaps it's an opportunity to review (or create) an email policy and make sure employees understand it.  

Read More

Topics: Security Information, small business, data breach

Taxing Benefits: What About Identity Theft Protection?

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Aug 25, 2015 8:30:00 AM

In a previous blog, we discussed what state law (VA) requires when a company is the victim of a data breach and personal information is compromised.  For example, a notice that tells someone their information may have been stolen must include, among other things, advice that directs the person to monitor their accounts and credit.   Some companies go beyond giving advice to actually providing credit monitoring services to victims, whether employees or consumers.   The IRS just announced that those benefits are not taxable.

Read More

Topics: taxes, data breach, cybercrime

Leave A Comment

FocusData: TECHPol is a blog on technology and business policy issues affecting small and mid-sized companies.  TECHPol’s primary author, Lori Salley Ring, spent 20-plus years working on Capitol Hill, including as the top staffer on the House Committee on Small Business.  FDS is an IT consulting firm providing managed services, office tech relocation, network security, and IT support for businesses in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.

Technology Policy Small Business

About the Author

Lori Salley Ring

Lori Salley Ring

Lori serves as Policy Advisor and Communications Specialist for Focus Data Solutions.  Lori spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff to a member of the House leadership and as the Staff Director for the Committee on Small Business.  Lori also ran a Washington-based non-profit organization between stints working for the Federal government. 

Follow Me

Focus Data Solutions

1020 N. Fairfax St., Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-0080

We are your partner for IT outsourcing, cloud services, managed services, office relocation, backup solutions and network security.

Work with Focus Data Solutions