I recently attended a reception at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. It is housed in an amazing new building that reminded me of something from the TV series Star Trek. I kept waiting to be beamed up. Of course, this new center is also affiliated with Chase College of Law. This combination expresses the rapidly expanding interaction of law and the internet commonly referred to as Cyberlaw.
A subset of Cyberlaw is Cybercrime. A number of national publications have reported on the growing threat that overseas hackers pose to banks and the businesses they serve. Bloomberg Business Week recently ran an alarming article that describes the billions siphoned by hackers from business bank accounts. This hacking then leads to disputes between the banks and the business over who is responsible. On one hand, the bank says that the customer allowed itself to be hacked. On the other, the customer says the bank failed to provide adequate security. Different courts have ruled both ways.
The immediate and practical response is to take reasonable steps to secure access to online banking efforts. Appropriate passwords, confidentiality and safety measures will help protect a business from inadvertently giving out a password and opening its system to a hacker.
From a legal standpoint, it would be wise to fully document your internal security measures so that if forced into court to seek recovery for hacking/theft losses, your business can demonstrate that it employed adequate security measures to protect itself from this known threat.
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