Introducing the TIP Jar

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
This article was featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of Lozano Smith's TIPJar

Technology offers a seemingly boundless array of opportunities: It can provide targeted learning to students with diverse abilities, make instruction available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection, and aid law enforcement efforts to safeguard communities. But this virtual bounty and the constant change it imposes also creates many challenges, some obvious, others difficult to discern. Frequently, the laws and policies that guide our work can't and don't keep up.

Lozano Smith's Technology & Innovation Practice (TIP) Group helps public agencies navigate this ever-changing world. We offer expertise on technology policies, contracts with educational technology vendors, and advice on technology-tinged issues as they relate to discipline, public records, and a list of other matters public agencies deal with every day. To help public agencies navigate these evolving issues, we're introducing the TIP Jar (Technology & Innovation Practice - Jurisprudence and Resources), which is a quarterly publication offering tips on the intersection between law and tech.

What to Expect

Each quarter, we'll provide you with news on the latest legal developments from the capitol to the court house, plus practical insight on addressing technology issues from our attorneys and your peers in school districts and municipal agencies. We'll also offer practical tips designed to help you master technology and the rules governing it.

Looking Ahead

For our inaugural issue, we're tackling the rise of ransomware, an increasingly popular form of malware that can infect your systems and encrypt all of your agency's data with the click of a mouse. Here's how it works: Criminals infect a system with ransomware, locking all of the data it contains, and then demand a "ransom" payment for a "key" to unlock it. Ransomware attacks cost victims $24 million in 2015, an amount that rose to $209 million for the first few months of 2016 alone, according to FBI estimates. The FBI says that public agencies are increasingly the targets of these attacks.

In this Issue

You'll find a primer on ransomware and the policies you may want to consider putting in place to address it, along with tips for preventing ransomware attacks, what your notification obligations are if you're the victim of a data breach, and a story about how one school district handled a ransomware attack.

We're working to make the TIP Jar your go-to guide for technology legal issues, so we welcome your suggestions. If you'd like more information on the issues covered in this issue of the TIP Jar or any other technology issue you're facing, feel free to get in touch with an attorney in our Technology & Innovation Practice Group or at one of our nine offices located statewide.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.