As if a cyber attack on a healthcare organization isn’t bad enough, the legal ramifications can be another daunting task to deal with in addition to the discovery, investigation and mitigation phases, among others.

The legal costs will be heavy, in part because there are several regulatory agencies that are likely to get involved. These include the HHS Office for Civil Rights, state Attorney General Office, and the Federal Trade Commission, among others. If a breach occurs in California, for instance, there is the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, which could impose fines of as much as $1,000 per affected individual, even if damages from the attack can’t be proven, says Adam Green, a former OCR official and now a partner at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine.

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