Would You Be Liable If A Hacker Attacked Your Network?

When you run your own business online, there is one thing that is for sure, someone will try to hack into your network.

They will either try to attack your public facing web site or they will try to get into the company’s private network.

Either way, there will be a criminal that is trying to get into your network at some point and time.

Business Security And Liability

As a business owner, all you can do is try to set the best security protocols that you can afford.

A small to mid size business is not going to be able to afford the latest and greatest in online security systems.

If this can lead to a company becoming liable then there will be a lot of problems coming for many businesses in the near future.

To avoid being hit with a lawsuit, a company must have a set of online protocols that it follows.

If you can show the judge that you have, in good faith, tried to secure your customers data, then you should be OK.

That is not a guarantee though.

When it comes to laws that involve cyber space, we are making it up as we go along.

There are a new set of rules that come into affect when we are dealing with virtual entities.

For example, when people download music off of the Internet, in the eyes of the law it is considered stealing but there has been no physical product that has been taken.

The item is still there to be sold, the only difference is that you received it for free.

When it comes to cases such as these, in the US, the legal rulings have had a wide range, from the case being thrown out, to some defendants having their financial life ruined over a couple of downloaded songs.

The same thing happens when someone hacks inside of a system.

It is not the act that necessarily gets you in trouble, it is how much damage did that act cause that is the problem.

Trouble Relative To Damage Caused

If there is no damage, then a hacker can face a small fine or probation.

If there are millions involved then a hacker can get up to 25 years in jail.

Whether you are liable or not for an attack by a hacker on your system is still being decided by courts on a case by case basis.

The answer to this question can have serious implications to future online business owners.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] a large network there are going to be some bad guys from around the world who are going to try and infiltrate it every day. Some of them might have a certain goal while others are just trying to see which networks are […]

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