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Top Takeaways | Cybersecurity & Insurance Coverage in the Age of Telehealth: Understanding and Mitigating Your Risk

With more frequent and more severe ransomware attacks against health care platforms and vendors and the increasing use of telemedicine, it is critical to understand how to proactively defend your organization using robust legal, regulatory and cyber-coverage strategies. In this webinar, McDermott partners Dale Van Demark and Edward Zacharias joined Brett Buchanan of Marsh & McLennan Agency and Larry Hansard of Gallagher USA to explore the intersection of telemedicine and cybersecurity. Our panelists offered attendees a road map for navigating this rapidly changing space, including practical strategies for shoring up their defenses and addressing potential risks to their businesses.

  1. Providers engaging in telemedicine should consider three critical areas of insurance coverage: medical professional liability, technology errors and omissions, and cyber/privacy liability. “Several carriers have packaged these three important coverages into a one-policy format, referred to as a virtual health program,” Hansard said.
  2. A medical professional liability program should include incident reporting, punitive damages, and sexual abuse and molestation. The latter may seem surprising in a telemedicine context, but is important given reports of inappropriate patient behavior during telemedicine encounters, Hansard said.
  3. New telehealth technologies, such as AI chatbots for patient intake, create new and more complex bodily injury exposures, Buchanan said. “Working with an insurance underwriter that understands these nuances is absolutely key,” he said. In addition to bodily injury, coverage should include technology errors and omissions, cyber liability and general liability.

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New Cybersecurity Report Asks the Private Sector to Join Forces with the Government

The government is continuing to ask for more help from the private sector to defend against cyber attacks. The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) recently published a report discussing current cyber threats and urging private companies and executives to join forces with the government to better address those threats. The report proposes “public-private and company-to-company information sharing of cyber threats at network speed,” among other things discussed here.

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DOJ Guidance for Victims of Cybercrime: The Dos and Do Nots of Cyber Preparedness

On April 29, 2015, the Cybersecurity Unit in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the U.S. Department of Justice released a best practices document (Document) for victims of cyber incidents. The Document provides useful and practical tips that will assist organizations, regardless of size and available resources, in creating a cyber-incident response plan and responding quickly and effectively to cyber incidents. It iterates many of the important lessons that federal prosecutors and private sector companies have learned in handling cyber incidents, investigations, prosecutions and recoveries.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell delivered a speech at the Criminal Division’s Cybersecurity Industry Roundtable on April 29, 2015, wherein she described the Document as “living,” and one that CCIPS will “continue to update as the challenges and solutions change over time.” Caldwell added that this Document is an example of the assistance CCIPS plans to continue to provide in order to elevate cybersecurity efforts and build better channels of communication with law enforcement.

Best Practices for Cybersecurity Preparedness

CCIPS recommends eight steps as part of an organization’s pre-planning activities to help limit computer damage, minimize work disruption, and maximize the ability of law enforcement to locate and apprehend perpetrators:

  1. Identify your “Crown Jewels”—an organization’s most valued assets that warrant the most protection.
  2. Have an actionable plan in place before an intrusion occurs—stressing the word “actionable,” CCIPS suggests organizations decide on specific, concrete procedures to follow in the event of a cyber incident.
  3. Have appropriate technology and services in place—equipment, such as data back-up, intrusion detection capabilities, data-loss-prevention technologies, and devices for traffic filtering or scrubbing, should be installed, tested, and ready to deploy before a cyber incident occurs.
  4. Have appropriate authorization in place to permit network monitoring—obtain employee consent to monitor and disclose, as necessary, their communications to facilitate early detection and response to a cyber incident.
  5. Ensure your legal counsel is familiar with technology and cyber incident management—legal counsel who are conversant and accustomed to addressing issues associated with cyber attacks will speed up an organization’s decision-making process and reduce the organization’s response time.
  6. Ensure organization policies align with the cyber incident response plan—preventative and preparatory measures should be implemented in all relevant organizational policies, such as human resources policies.
  7. Engage with law enforcement before an incident—meeting and engaging with local federal law enforcement offices will facilitate interaction and establish a trusted relationship.
  8. Establish a relationship with cyber information sharing organizations—information sharing organizations exist in every sector of critical infrastructure and may provide cybersecurity-related services.

The Cyber Incident Preparedness Checklist (included in the Document) succinctly outlines these eight steps, and is of practical use to an organization that is creating or improving its already-existing incident response plan. For an incident response plan, the Document provides explicit examples of the types of information an organization should evaluate when assessing the nature and scope of an incident. It also includes the information an organization should document in its initial assessment and the [...]

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C-Suite – Changing Tack on the Sea of Data Breach?

The country awoke to what seems to be a common occurrence now: another corporation struck by a massive data breach.  This time it was Anthem, the country’s second largest health insurer, in a breach initially estimated to involve eighty million individuals.  Both individuals’ and employees’ personal information is at issue, in a breach instigated by hackers.

Early reports, however, indicated that this breach might be subtly different than those faced by other corporations in recent years.  The difference isn’t in the breach itself, but in the immediate, transparent and proactive actions that the C-Suite took.

Unlike many breaches in recent history, this attack was discovered internally through corporate investigative and management processes already in place.  Further, the C-Suite took an immediate, proactive and transparent stance: just as the investigative process was launching in earnest within the corporation, the C-Suite took steps to fully advise its customers, its regulators and the public at-large, of the breach.

Anthem’s chief executive officer, Joseph Swedish, sent a personal, detailed e-mail to all customers. An identical message appeared in a widely broadcast press statement.  Swedish outlined the magnitude of the breach, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other investigative and regulatory bodies had already been advised and were working in earnest to stem the breach and its fallout.  He advised that each customer or employee with data at risk was being personally and individually notified.  In a humanizing touch, he admitted that the breach involved his own personal data.

What some data privacy and information security advocates noted was different: The proactive internal measures that discovered the breach before outsiders did; the early decision to cooperate with authorities and press, and the involvement of the corporate C-Suite in notifying the individuals at risk and the public at-large.

The rapid and detailed disclosure could indicate a changing attitude among the American corporate leadership.  Regulators have encouraged transparency and cooperation among Corporate America, the public and regulators as part of an effort to stem the tide of cyber-attacks.  As some regulators and information security experts reason, the criminals are cooperating, so we should as well – we are all in this together.

Will the proactive, transparent and cooperative stance make a difference in the aftermath of such a breach?  Only time will tell but we will be certain to watch with interest.




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