In an article for Governing, Goldberg Segalla’s Shannon T. O’Connor explains some of the costs — both tangible and intangible — of data breaches within government offices.
Shannon, an associate in the Municipal and Governmental Liability Practice Group, details several noteworthy cases of government data breaches, including one in which hackers stole personal information from over two million employees, students, and prospective students at an Arizona community college system.
“Taxpayers ultimately paid $26 million to settle the litigation and address the hacking event, including $9.3 million in attorneys’ fees, $7.5 million in network upgrades, repairs and consulting fees, and $7 million to notify those impacted by the breach and pay for their credit monitoring,” Shannon reports.
“Clearly government officials have a responsibility to address cybersecurity threats to their networks from both inside and outside their organizations,” she goes on to explain. “Inaction is both costly and irresponsible, and failure to adequately address vulnerabilities can result in taxpayers footing the bill for costly litigation or regulatory enforcement. But something even more important is at stake: the public’s trust.”