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VLP Partner Melissa Krasnow Quoted in Law360 Article “Equifax Ruling Shows How Cyber Boasts Can Bring Legal Pain”

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in News by Melissa Krasnow

VLP Partner Melissa Krasnow was quoted in the Law360 article “Equifax Ruling Shows How Cyber Boasts Can Bring Legal Pain.”

The article reported on a Georgia federal judge’s ruling that Equifax investors can sue the company for publicly praising its cybersecurity even after its hired consultants spotted glaring flaws. The article noted that the ruling may spark other companies to be more careful about how they talk about their own digital defenses.

Mentioned in the decision, according to Law360, was a speech that former Equifax CEO Richard Smith presented at the University of Georgia in August 2017 in which he expressed concerns about a hack into the company databases without revealing what he already knew: that those fears had been realized.

The judge also ruled that there was no evidence that other executives named in the case had been given any warnings or specific information about the company’s cybersecurity deficiencies. Ms. Krasnow told Law360 that this decision could cause company bosses to think twice before getting briefed in cybersecurity discussions or discussing the issue in public.

“The question is,” Ms. Krasnow noted, “will this change how companies handle cybersecurity going forward? Will the CEO become less involved? Will CEOs speak about cybersecurity publicly, or will there be a chill and they will not speak about it as much as they have previously?”

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