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Firm News

Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP Joins Cyber & Information Security Consortium

Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP has joined and Debra Fulton will be participating in the Cyber & Information Security Consortium (CISC) who mission is to enable their members to effectively operate and protect their enterprises amid the reality of growing and persistent cyber-attacks.  CISC was formed by two of the Nation's leading research entities, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, along with Cisco Systems, CNS, Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, the East Tennessee Economic Council and other private corporations.

CISC’s vision is to:

  • Position our state as a nationally recognized center of competency in cybersecurity, building on existing private and government investments.
  • Position our members as world-class subject matter experts and innovators in cybersecurity.
  • Produce a mature pipeline of talented cybersecurity professionals from a broad and coordinated workforce development strategy employing universities, community colleges, high schools, and private occupational schools.
  • Maintain a mature entrepreneurial ecosystem focused on cybersecurity, producing a consistent stream of new commercial products and companies through intellectual property produced by our research institutions.
  • Serve as a national model, partner, and mentor for other regions in our nation to enable collaboration between different centers of competency in the cybersecurity effort.

Don’t Make the Same Mistake I Did

Seven years ago, a new puppy moved in with my family.  In an effort to socialize him, we attended classes so he could interact with unfamiliar people and other dogs. One day, I even chased down the UPS man so the puppy would be exposed to someone in a uniform. I had read about puppy development and the fear stages of a dog and thought I had done all that was required.  To my dismay, I have since learned that dogs require continuing reinforcement, correction, and retraining.  Our now seven-year-old dog doesn’t always play well with strangers.

Lessons learned from puppies apply equally to privacy and cyber security training for people.  Experts agree: it is impossible to spend enough money to safeguard a computer system from the human element.  Policies, procedures, and consistent training are required. 

Training once or even once a year is not enough.  Since the threats are constantly changing, training must be ongoing.  [A month ago, who had heard of Wanna Cry?]  Someone in each organization must monitor threats and, as they emerge, share information with the group.  Since executives and new hires are likely the most vulnerable to certain types of attacks, everyone should participate in this ongoing training.

Social media and company websites provide a wealth of information from which an attacker can construct a credible phishing e-mail.  It happens every day, and each member of the organization should be made aware. 

Organizations should periodically test compliance with policies and procedures. Try to view the inevitable lapses as training opportunities; punishment only discourages reporting of problems. 

If you would like to speak to Debbie Fulton about this or any other matter, she may be reached at (865) 546-9321.

Debra Fulton Named in Best Lawyers® Spring 2017 Business Edition

Debra Fulton was named in Best Lawyers® Spring 2017 Business edition as Lawyer of the Year in Workers' Compensation Law.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 12 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You—Tennessee Data Breach Law

John Chambers, CEO of CISCO, said that there are two types of computers in the world:  those that have been hacked and those that will be hacked.  Don’t think you are not at risk because you are not a big national or multinational company.  You are at risk of being hacked no matter your size. Hacking isn’t just a problem for Yahoo or a problem for health care providers.  In fact small and mid-sized businesses may be more subject to hacking because they are the low hanging fruit and have fewer resources to protect data.

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