Posted by: johnocunningham | March 10, 2014

Legal Content Marketing: Hot Topic – Cybersecurity

Law firms often have a hard-time choosing hot topics for inclusion in their client alerts and newsletters, in part because there are so many potential topics to choose from in a landscape of constantly shifting laws, regulations and interpretive court decisions.

One of the best ways to select a topic is to look at those subjects about which clients are most concerned, and right now one of the hottest topics among corporate clients is cyber-security. According to the 2014 survey, “What Directors Think,” as published by the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services, as cited in a recent article in Corporate Counsel magazine, corporate directors in particular are increasingly focused on cyber-security.

One of the sources for the report stated that within the last couple of years, cyber-security issues are “absolutely at the forefront of every single board of directors discussion that we have.”

That is hardly surprising, given the number of front-page headlines about mega-companies whose information walls have been breached by hackers and data thieves in recent years, but small and mid-sized companies, doctor’s offices, and mom-and-pop businesses have also suffered from hack-attacks too.

Thus, clients of all sizes have reason to be concerned, and they are all in need of guidance when it comes to evolving state and federal laws on cyber-security, duties to protect data, and obligations to make prompt disclosures and reports in the wake of data breaches.

Law firms should be giving their clients practical and timely guidance on a number of cyber-security topics, including:

  • Any required public company disclosures regarding security risks;
  • Any necessary review of insurance coverages; and
  • Development of a legally sufficient emergency response plan in the event of a cyber-breach.

Firms that quickly seize on hot topics, such as cyber-security, in their content marketing programs, and especially those that do it well, can expect more responses from clients and prospects who likely have legal concerns that these firms can helpfully address.

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