Department of Justice (DOJ) Recommends that Lawyers Need to Know about Cybersecurity


According to the DOJ it is a best practice for every business is to have "legal counsel that is familiar with legal issues associated with cyber incidents" in its recent "Best Practices for Victim Response and Reporting of Cyber Incidents." The April 2015 "Best Practices" includes these comments about ensuring legal counsel is familiar with technology and cyber incident management since "Cyber incidents can raise unique legal questions":

An organization faced with decisions about how it interacts with government agents, the types of preventative technologies it can lawfully use, its obligation to report the loss of customer information, and its potential liability for taking specific remedial measures (or failing to do so) will benefit from obtaining legal guidance from attorneys who are conversant with technology and knowledgeable about relevant laws (e.g., the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030), electronic surveillance, and communications privacy laws). Legal counsel that is accustomed to addressing these types of issues that are often associated with cyber incidents will be better prepared to provide a victim organization with timely, accurate advice.

Many private organizations retain outside counsel who specialize in legal questions associated with data breaches while others find such cyber issues are common enough that they have their own cyber-savvy attorneys on staff in their General Counsel's offices. Having ready access to advice from lawyers well acquainted with cyber incident response can speed an organization's decision making and help ensure that a victim organization's incident response activities remain on firm legal footing.

The DOJ Cybersecurity Unit (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, Criminal
Division) identified these steps "Before a Cyber Intrusion or Attack Occurs":

A. Identify Your "Crown Jewels"

B. Have an Actionable Plan in Place Before an Intrusion Occurs

C. Have Appropriate Technology and Services in Place Before An Intrusion Occurs

D. Have Appropriate Authorization in Place to Permit Network Monitoring

E. Ensure Your Legal Counsel is Familiar with Technology and Cyber Incident Management to Reduce Response Time During an Incident

F. Ensure Organization Policies Align with Your Cyber Incident Response Plan

G. Engage with Law Enforcement Before an Incident

H. Establish Relationships with Cyber Information Sharing Organizations

Since cybercrimes are daily headlines it certainly behooves all lawyers to understand in order to serve their clients.

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top