Uncovering Local Cyber Security Laws: What You Need to Know
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help young learners and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
As a business owner, you should become acquainted with the cybersecurity law in your jurisdiction. Doing so will enable you to safeguard your company against cyber attacks.
Cybersecurity law encompasses legal matters related to computer crime, online transactions, and privacy. This area of law encompasses constitutional, tort, contract, and property laws that impact cyberspace.
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The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is a federal law that requires all government agencies and their contractors to create and sustain an extensive, risk-based information security program. Furthermore, they must conduct an annual evaluation of their information security status as well as report on compliance with FISMA and other pertinent regulations and policies.
FISMA, originally passed as part of the Electronic Government Act in 2002, is designed to protect sensitive information and assets in accordance with United States legislation and government policies. This law extends protections beyond state agencies administering federal programs to private businesses and service providers with contracts with the US government.
Non-compliance with FISMA can have serious repercussions for organizations. Agencies who fail to adhere to the law could face congressional censure, reductions in federal funding, reputational damage, and other negative repercussions that affect the public at large.
With the digital age’s advancement, cyber-attacks and data breaches have become more frequent occurrences. This has created an elevated public awareness level and demands for greater accountability from organizations they deal with.
These security incidents can do serious harm to a company’s reputation, especially if they involve sensitive data. The consequences can range from a lack of consumer trust to missed business opportunities and have an adverse effect on the organization’s market share.
The FISMA framework was implemented to safeguard sensitive information and assets in an economical yet risk-based way. It emphasizes the development and implementation of security controls outlined in NIST’s suite of information security risk management standards and guidelines.
Under FISMA, each agency is required to create and implement an information security program that covers all data used by them or a contractor. These plans must include security measures that provide protections commensurate with the risk of loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Additionally, agencies are mandated to conduct annual information security program reviews and report their results to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This data helps OMB assess how well an agency is adhering to FISMA as well as other relevant laws and policies.
In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) to safeguard investors against corporate fraud and abuse. This increased financial transparency and established internal corporate checks and balances within corporations.
Executives who breach this law are punishable by up to $1 million in fines and ten years in prison. Furthermore, executives convicted of falsification or destruction of records that could impede investigations face up to ten years in prison for their transgressions.
Beyond making a major contribution to the fight against corporate fraud, SOX also helped establish a legal framework for whistleblower protections. This act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report corporate wrongdoings to authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Companies adhering to SOX must implement a variety of controls for security and compliance. These may include data security policies, access restrictions, and IT security standards.
By law, management must submit a “Statement of Internal Control” to the SEC along with their annual reports. This must include an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of their internal accounting controls as well as independent auditor assurance that these statements are accurate.
SOX requires companies to distribute a comprehensive data security policy to all employees. This document must adequately safeguard company data and be adequately backed up so it cannot be lost or stolen.
It is essential to be aware that SOX applies to both publicly and non-traded companies alike. Private organizations, charities, and nonprofits are not mandated by all SOX requirements; however, certain provisions do apply to them, such as the prohibition against the destruction of records during an investigation by a federal agency or retaliating against whistleblowers.
Many of the most successful SOX compliance programs are those that integrate a robust risk management framework into company culture. Doing this makes it simpler to detect and prioritize cyber risks, as well as respond promptly when necessary.
It’s essential to comprehend the implications of the Sarbanes Oxley Act so you can plan accordingly. For instance, if you plan on filing for an IPO and must meet SOX compliance, start working on your preparations long before the deadline.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a landmark piece of legislation that encourages transparency in business practices and safeguards Californians’ personal information. It gives California consumers a private right of action, enabling them to sue companies for wrongful data collection or selling, as well as easy access to their saved personal data stored by companies.
The CCPA is the first comprehensive data privacy law to be passed in America, and it imposes stringent guidelines on businesses, such as requirements for data collection, reporting, and responding to privacy requests. Furthermore, it lays out potential repercussions for those who fail to meet those standards.
Recent technological advancements have resulted in an exponential growth of data collected about consumers and their lives. That is why it is now more critical than ever for businesses to comprehend what the CCPA is, how to comply with it, and what type of protection they are afforded.
According to the CCPA, “personal information” is defined as any data that identifies relates to, describes, or could reasonably be associated with a particular consumer or household. This includes mobile data, biometric data, and even details about people’s health status, educational background, financial situation, or employment history.
Businesses must adhere to the California Consumer Privacy Act if they derive 50% or more of their annual revenue from selling or sharing consumer personal information and collect data about 50,000 or more California residents. Furthermore, any business that collects data on children under 16 without parental consent and sells or shares their info falls under the CCPA’s purview.
Businesses that fail to abide by the CCPA can face fines of up to $7,500 per violation, which add up quickly. This amount can become a substantial financial burden for smaller businesses particularly.
Under the CCPA, businesses are required to post notices on their website that describe how they collect and use personal information, as well as what consumers can do to exercise their privacy rights. This may include a link to the CCPA’s privacy interactive tool – an online form where individuals can request that businesses disclose how they collect and utilize their data, along with notification of potential infringement.
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), passed in 2015, permits enhanced information sharing between federal government and non-federal entities. While CISA could be seen as a positive step toward increasing cybersecurity awareness and response, there remain several questions about liability and technology that need to be clarified before it can become fully effective.
Under CISA, non-government entities must delete personal data before sharing cyber indicators. Furthermore, they must have a retention period for this data; if it isn’t used after that period, it must be destroyed.
Section 103 requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop procedures for sharing cybersecurity threat data with other agencies, private businesses, and individuals. It also necessitates automated systems for data exchange and threat alerts.
However, it’s essential to be aware that the cybersecurity information shared under CISA does not serve as a safeguard against legal risks and may not be protected by trade secrets or other privilege protections. Furthermore, this data is subject to disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and other State laws, as well as certain Federal requirements for privacy protection.
Another major concern is that CISA lacks reporting thresholds for sharing cyber threat or defensive measure information. This could create a backlog of information being shared, hindering the feedback loop from working efficiently and effectively.
CISA is an encouraging step that encourages greater transparency and communication, but only if companies are willing to voluntarily share cybersecurity threat and defensive measure information with others. To do this effectively requires experienced cybersecurity professionals with technical abilities who can make this intelligence actionable by comparing it against their own network and application-layer data.
Although there is no reporting threshold and potential liability concerns, some organizations may feel hesitant to participate in voluntary sharing under CISA. Only time will tell whether this trend holds true.
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina first introduced the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act in March 2015. While it has yet to become law, it must first be reconciled with similar bills in the House before passage can take place. While implementation of CISA will take some time, it represents an important step toward improving cybersecurity worldwide.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.