The media often reports about cyber-attacks on well-known companies like Target or Netflix.
However, small- and medium-sized businesses are not exempt from experiencing such crimes, which are often engineered by insiders. Is yours one of them?
Breaking into a company’s computer system to access unauthorized data is a criminal act. Healthcare institutions are vulnerable because they do not have the kind of state-of-the-art operating systems needed to fend off cyber-attacks. A similar problem exists for government agencies, which have much sought-after information such as fingerprints and Social Security numbers. The energy industry is often a target since a breach of security can cause widespread power outages, affecting millions of citizens. Small businesses are targets for insiders because they have confidential information and are vulnerable to malware attacks and phishing scams.
Understanding penalties in New York
Section 156.35 in the New York penal codes addresses “Criminal possession of computer-related material.” According to this section, when someone is guilty of acquiring computer-related material with “intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof” the crime could range from a misdemeanor with a one-year jail term and a fine of $1,000 to a class C felony with prison time of up to 15 years and a fine of $5,000, or double what the crime produced.
Building a defense strategy
A computer crime investigation is normally a time-consuming and complex task. In order to begin building an effective defense strategy, it is wise to seek legal counsel immediately upon learning that you or your business associates face cybercrime scrutiny.