Business First Digital, March 2017 Business First Digital Magazine, March 2017 | Page 44



asks Rory Campbell , Forde Campbell LLC


ave I ever had an LA Law moment ? You know , that moment when the legal team start whooping , punching the air and high­fiving ?
Yes , once . Our client ’ s rival refused to admit it was hacking our client ’ s site . “ Prove it ,” was their position , knowing that the hacks came via dynamic IP addresses , whose owners ’ identities were known only to the internet service provider .
So , one court order later , we “ persuaded ” the ISP to identify the owners of twenty sample IP addresses . Bingo : seventeen out of the twenty were registered to the rival ’ s CEO and head developer . The LA Law moment .
But this was several years ago , when hacking was less sophisticated and far less widespread . It wasn ’ t in any way a typical hack . We had a good idea who the culprit was . Typically , business hackers are faceless .
We knew the hack was occurring on a repeating basis , and could even predict roughly when it would next occur . In contrast , according to Simon Whitaker of local cyber security experts Vertical Structure , the “ overwhelming proportion of businesses simply never know when a hack will occur ”: a 2016 industry report recorded that 93 per cent of data hacks take place in under a few minutes . And in 83 per cent of compromises , the time taken for a data breach to be discovered is measured in weeks – or longer .
Hacking : the risks .
Is this just a fact of online business life , yet another hassle that realistically won ’ t be dealt with until it becomes a problem ?
The central message of this article is that a laissez­faire attitude is no longer viable . Law changes due to be implemented in May 2018 place heavy legal obligations on businesses to be proactive about hacking .
The law has developed in proportion to the risk of hacking . The risk is enormous : according to the new UK hacking watchdog , the National Cyber Security Centre , each home in the UK has an average of eight internet devices .
With the growth of the Internet of Things , home appliances are increasingly internet based and therefore vulnerable to hacking .
The NCSC reports that 83 per cent of UK businesses are online , and that 65 per cent of
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