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Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Privacy and Data Security Counsels Clients on Data Breaches

September 19, 2014
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Privacy and Data Security Practice Group at Harter Secrest & Emery Helps Businesses, Health Care and Higher Education Manage the Risks and Challenges of Data Breaches

The Privacy and Data Security practice group at the law firm of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) is helping businesses in a wide variety of industries manage the risks and legal challenges of data breaches. Cyber attacks have been increasing in frequency and scope, putting sensitive personal information and corporate reputations at stake.

Advances in technology allow new ways for criminals to illegally gain access to private and proprietary information in a variety of industries, especially retail and health care. In 2013, the Target data breach took center stage during the holiday season, while Home Depot is currently investigating what could be a widespread credit card breach.

Just last month, Community Health Systems, Inc., one of the nation’s biggest hospital groups, fell victim to the largest cyber attack of its kind. That prompted the FBI to issue a Private Industry Notification (PIN) warning the health care industry of vulnerability to cyber attacks.

“Technology and the issues are changing at a rapid pace, making it a crucial challenge to protect confidential business and customer information,” said Philip R. Fileri, a partner at HSE and co-leader of the practice group. “With 47 states having their own laws on the books, it can be a maze for businesses, organizations and governments to sort through international, national, state and local laws and regulations governing privacy and data security.”

Before an attack ever takes place, HSE helps with the development and implementation of privacy and data security policies and procedures. HSE also assists in responding to security breaches, regulatory inquiries and investigations, as well as internal and third-party compliance audits.

“A prompt legal and technical response is essential to properly assess a data breach and mitigate loss,” said F. Paul Greene, a partner at HSE and co-leader of the practice group. “After a data breach, things happen at a rapid-fire pace, so having a well-rehearsed plan in place is critical. Your understanding of the breach can change hour to hour and day to day.”

Earlier this year, HSE sponsored an event for the Central & Western New York Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), which focused on data breaches. HSE attorneys led three sessions at the event addressing law enforcement and internal investigations, planning and response, and insurance.

“The Privacy and Data Security group has the widespread experience and expertise to fully understand the unique needs of our clients and importance of these issues,” said Michael R. McEvoy, managing partner of HSE. “We’re able to provide clients with the counsel and practical solutions they need to comply with the law and at the same time manage their risks.”

The Privacy and Data Security group includes attorneys from several of the firm’s practice groups, including:

  • Corporate
  • Intellectual Property
  • Government and Internal Investigation
  • Litigation
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Long-Term Care
  • Health Systems and Hospitals
  • Technology and Software
  • Higher Education

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

The firm with the most U.S. News and Best Lawyers Top Tier rankings in Western New York, Harter Secrest & Emery provides legal services to clients ranging from individuals and family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies and major regional institutions. With offices in Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, and Corning, NY, the firm comprises more than 130 attorneys and total staff of 260.

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