Taking a Crack at Hackers; New Book Helps Attorneys, Executives Combat Cyberthreats

EAGAN, Minn., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ — The 1999 launch and resulting shockwave caused by the “Melissa Virus” — the first major e-mail-based virus — crippled electronic communications worldwide and caused $1.2 billion in damage. It set the tone for the security and privacy breaches that business, industry and personal communications would soon face.

Three years later, damage caused by hacking and malicious software has risen dramatically. A growing focus for hackers now appears to be the corporate community. Are you ready?

Co-authors and attorneys Ronald Weikers and Kevin Cronin recently released a ground-breaking reference book titled, Data Security and Privacy Law: Combating Cyberthreats. Published by West, a Thomson business (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC) and the foremost provider of integrated information solutions to the U.S. legal market, the book discusses in clear detail what attorneys — as well as chief information officers, chief technology officers and chief privacy officers — need to know about data security and privacy laws and technical countermeasures.

Cronin and Weikers brought together 24 attorneys and technology professionals from across the country to share their experience and expertise on various aspects relating to the issue in developing the 1,444-page treatise. “As we become more dependent upon data and networks, the stakes become greater,” Weikers said. “Attorneys and technologists must arm themselves with reliable information about data security and privacy compliance, and about cyber attack solutions.”

While hackers typically work alone and their targets for viruses and worms vary, Cronin said he has seen a growing trend that focuses on corporations. “The tools created by hackers have become so powerful that the damage they cause is unprecedented,” he said. “As a result, a number of statutes, rules and regulations have been established to deter attacks and to impose security and privacy standards within a variety of industries.”

“The law is finally catching up with technology, and knowledge of both has become essential to most lawyers, and certainly to all technology executives,” Weikers added. This was the primary reason Weikers and Cronin launched into the book endeavor with West. Organized in an easy-to-use, practical format, Data Security and Privacy Law: Combating Cyberthreats covers a rapidly changing area of law with the insights needed for attorneys and executives to successfully comply with a multitude of new state and federal laws that regulate data security and privacy, and with the tools to litigate, if necessary. It will be updated twice per year.

“Our book is really the first of its kind,” said Cronin. “No other book links the legal world with the technical world as comprehensively as what we have published together with West.”

About the authors
Kevin P. Cronin is a partner in Blank Rome LLP, a large general practice Philadelphia-based law firm with offices in seven states and the District of Columbia. Cronin is co-chairman of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department and has practiced computer law since 1985. He received his law degree from Washington University School of Law and is a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award. He has authored numerous computer law articles and frequently lectures on the topic. For more information, please visit Blank Rome’s website at BlankRome.com.

Ronald N. Weikers is principal of Weikers & Co., with offices in the Boston area and Philadelphia. Weikers handles technology licensing, litigation and data security and privacy compliance counseling for clients across the country. He received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1988, where he was a published member of the Villanova Law Review. Weikers is the author and coauthor of numerous books and articles related to various aspects of computer law, and he frequently lectures on the topic. For more information, please visit Weikers & Co.’s website at Software-Law.com.

About West
Headquartered in Eagan, Minn., West is the foremost provider of integrated information solutions to the U.S. legal market. West is a business within The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC) and was formed when West Publishing and Thomson Legal Publishing merged in June 1996. For more information, please visit the West Web site at http://www.westgroup.com .

About The Thomson Corporation
The Thomson Corporation ( http://www.thomson.com ), with 2001 revenues of $7.2 billion, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. Thomson provides value-added information, software applications and tools to more than 20 million users in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate training and assessment, scientific research and healthcare. The Corporation’s common shares are listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC).

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