If there is a case you might not think is cybersecurity related- you should take a second look, there is always a cybersecurity component to every case. Secure Anchor provides consulting services to help you find the underlying cybersecurity issues of a case. Additionally, a consultant can potentially be given more information than an expert witness and given full access to a case without the discoverability factor that comes into play with expert witnesses. Having a consultant with real world, industry experience, can be invaluable when forming a strong case.

Case Study 1 – A law firm was working on class action suit filed against a publicly traded security company. The accused company put out press releases about their new security technology and how valuable it was to the marketplace because it could catch any and every possible attack. This overwhelmingly high praise and detection guarantee led to the company’s stock price skyrocketing and many large school districts invested their teacher pension funds based on the positive forecasting driven by the company’s technical specifications and reviews. It was later found out that the specifications were aggrandized to boost the stock price, which worked, and subsequently the executives of the security company cashed out their stock shares. Shortly thereafter, reports rebuked the earlier praise and the stock price dropped tremendously, and several entities, including the school districts, lost significant amounts of money.

While on the surface this doesn’t seem like a cybersecurity case, the attorneys working the case were struggling where the false information was coming from. As it involved a security company, Secure Anchor and Dr. Cole were asked to give a live tutorial and overview on security and basic functionality for the attorneys working the case. After the tutorial, these attorneys said they had been struggling for months on how to prosecute this case, but in less than four hours with Dr. Cole they had a clear plan and strategy to pursue. Following the tutorial, one partner asked Dr. Cole to sit in on the deposition of the CEO of the accused company in order to provide real-time feedback and guidance on the technical aspects of the deposition. The attorney later said, “if Dr. Cole wasn’t in the deposition to provide insight, it would have gone in a bad direction, but because he was there it was one of the most valuable depositions in the case”. Dr. Cole was able to provide business and technological advice based on his experience working for McAfee.

Case Study 2 – A warehouse of a high-profile pharmaceutical company was broken into, and the burglars stole $50 million worth of prescription drugs. On the surface this seems like a physical crime without a cybersecurity component. Upon deeper examination, it turns out there were five different warehouses across the country that had no direct relationship to each other that were all broken into in the same manner. All details of the break-ins were identical – the same spot in the roof was cut in each warehouse, the same number of burglars, and none of the break-ins set off alarms to alert the police. The only connection between all five warehouses was that all five had security provided by the same external security company. Upon further analysis, it could be determined the burglars had inside information from the security company. It was discovered that the same sales representative from the security company was the representative for all five break-in sites. Secure Anchor was brought in to help evaluate the protections in place at the security company and determine if the location of the alarms was treated as a trade secret. It was found that not only did the security company not protect their client’s information, but sales representatives could bring things such as the layouts of warehouses and locations of the security systems were out of the office. Employees were allowed to use personal computers for work purposes, including reviewing sensitive documents. Finding that all information needed to access the warehouse physically was available electronically, cybersecurity quickly became the most critical component of the entire case.