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Cyberattacks can be a common reason for the occurrence of data breaches, as criminals often target company databases to gain access to huge swathes of information. There is one type of attack that is particularly malicious in nature: when databases with highly sensitive data are hacked and the victims are held to ransom by cybercriminals, perhaps seeking payment in return for a vow that they will not misuse or publish the information.
These can sometimes be empty promises, placing the victims in danger whether they choose to pay up or reject the ransom. Unfortunately, poor data security of some organisations can often be the reason as to why victims end up in this defenseless position in the first place, as weaknesses in their systems could allow cybercriminals to break through.
If you have been put in a precarious situation due to a ransomware attack, we are here to advise you on your potential right to claim data breach compensation from those responsible for negligence.
In recent years, many high-profile cyberattacks have seen organisations held to ransom after their databases were breached. One of the most infamous examples is the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit the NHS in 2017, affecting approximately 40 NHS organisations.
The attack infected computers, encrypted data, and demanded hundreds of pounds in ransom release fees on the affected devices. It was later revealed that the attack could have been prevented if better cybersecurity recommendations had been observed.
Ransomware attacks do not only take control of an organisation’s network. Sometimes, cybercriminals take copies of the data that they then threaten to publish online. In incidents like this, the fate of the information can be put in the hands of the victims themselves, placing them in a stressful and precarious situation. For instance, in the recent cyberattack on the Transform Hospital Group, the cybercriminals put victims in an awful position by threatening to publish “before and after” plastic surgery photos.
The official advice is that it is important for victims who are held to ransom by cybercriminals to not give in to their demands. Such action would go against all the recommendations of the police and security services, and there is no guarantee that the information will no longer be at risk once a fine is paid. Moreover, paying a ransom could strengthen the hackers by funding their criminal activities.
While there may not be much in the way of immediate action that you can take, it may be possible to consider making a compensation claim. It may be revealed that poor cybersecurity provoked the breach, meaning that you could be able to recover compensation from the organisation that failed to protect your information. In such a claim, you could be entitled to General Damages for any distress suffered, and Special Damages for any consequent financial losses or expenses, if applicable.
Although nothing is likely to make up for stress of being held to ransom by cybercriminals, it may help to know that a third-party organisation at fault can be held accountable for any negligence. In our view, there is no better way to do this than by making a compensation claim, as this form of punishment can deter organisations from making the same mistakes again, as well as giving you some form of justice.
If you contact us today, you can expect to receive free, no-obligation advice on your right to claim compensation. We have represented victims of ransomware attacks for many years, so we understand how severe the impact can be.
Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – is here to support clients through these difficulties by fighting against data protection negligence.
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