Are Businesses at Risk of Litigation in the Event of a Cybersecurity Breach?

Are Businesses at Risk of Litigation in the Event of a Cybersecurity Breach?

Posted March 4, 2021

Are Businesses at Risk of Litigation in the Event of a Cybersecurity Breach?

  • A cybersecurity attack that results in a data breach exposes businesses to customer distrust and, potentially, litigation.
  • In October 2020, Wilmington Surgical Associates in North Carolina was victim to a ransomware attack carried out by the NetWalker cybercriminals that resulted in a 13 GB data breach.
  • Now, as of February 2021, Wilmington Surgical Associates is being sued for cybersecurity negligence. The data breach enacted by the NetWalker group resulted in highly sensitive data being breached: patient names, birth dates, social security numbers, and health records. Patients have joined together in a class action lawsuit filed by Rhine Law Firm, with the intention of forcing the practice to strengthen its data security systems and submit to annual audits and provide credit monitoring services.
  • In the aftermath of a cybersecurity breach either large or small, claimants with sufficient evidence can seek to hold the breached business responsible for the ensuing damage. Whether the attack resulted in huge quantities of personal data being revealed, as in the Wilmington Surgical Associates case, or was targeted at a single victim, as in the Abbott Laboratories case, businesses whose systems have suffered breaches may still be liable in court. 
  • Each case is different and the damages incurred will always depend on the evidence presented.

– Claire Hughes | March 4, 2021