Themes Emerging from Cyber-Attacks on Baltimore City Government

One week ago, Baltimore City government servers were hit with a ransomware attack which resulted in certain non-critical services being knocked offline for an unspecified amount of time, some of which may continue to be down as of this post. Last year, the city’s 911 system suffered a ransomware attack which disabled its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. The two attacks highlight several emerging themes:

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Cybersecurity for Small-to-Midsize Businesses: Where to Begin?

For SMBs that have that nagging sense they should be doing something about cybersecurity (or more generally, information security), but don’t know where to begin, this blog post suggest three free publicly available resources: the FTC’s Start with Security, NIST’s Small Business Cybersecurity—The Fundamentals and GCA’s Small Business Cybersecurity Toolkit.

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Christopher Van de Verg
Three Big Issues Congress Must Resolve to Enable Passage of Data Privacy & Security Legislation

With last week’s data privacy hearings before the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee and House Consumer Protection & Commerce Subcommittee now in the rear-view mirror, the outlines of the debate are coming into sharper focus. Moving forward, three big issues will dominate Congress’ deliberations on data privacy and social media regulation.

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FCC Defends Net Neutrality Repeal Before D.C. Circuit

The FCC came under fire Friday morning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit while defending its 2018 order, Restoring Internet Freedom, which repealed the agency’s 2015 Net Neutrality Order, thereby removing regulatory restrictions on Internet content blocking, throttling and paid prioritization by Internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Judge Patricia Millett hammered FCC counsel over the FCC’s re-classification of broadband Internet access service (e.gs., Xfinity, FIOS) as an “information service” under the federal Communications Act, paving the way for minimal or no  FCC regulation.

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Christopher Van de Verg
The Cybersecurity Dimension of Trade Secret Protection: DOJ Guidance

A requirement that companies take reasonable steps to protect their trade secrets is written into the legal definition of “trade secret.” The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which is the basis for most state trade secret laws, and the federal Economic Espionage Act (EEA), as amended by the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), require that firms take reasonable steps to protect trade secrets. Moreover, “a business or possessor of a potential trade secret must take some active steps to maintain its secrecy in order to enjoy presumptive trade secret status because once material has been publicly disclosed, it loses any status it ever had as a trade secret.”

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Christopher Van de Verg