Law Firm Representing Cybersecurity Whistleblowers
Hammer explained that raising concerns about cybersecurity issues qualifies for protection under the Sarbanes-Oxey whistleblower law: He cited as an example the Prioleau whistleblower case: “That case is about an employee who raised cybersecurity concerns about two policies that contradicted each other. He raised those through his chain of command. He was ignored and experienced retaliation. The question was whether blowing the whistle on these cybersecurity issues qualified for protection under the Sarbanes Oxley Act, which was originally passed with more of a focus on corporate and audit fraud. The Administrative Review Board of the Department of Labor found that such a disclosure was in fact protected.”
In the article, Hammer also discusses his substantial experience representing whistleblowers that have disclosed cybersecurity vulnerabilities and weaknesses in information technology internal controls. He noted that cybersecurity whistleblowers that he represented have disclosed important compliance issues in many industries: “What we have seen in other contexts — for example, fraud on the government in general — is that when people start to listen to whistleblowers, it does help fix the problem. It brings a new set of eyes — eyes that are in a position to know things that outside regulators do not know, that the public at large does not know. It helps fix the problem.”
Mr. Hammer has written extensively about protections for cybersecurity whistleblowers, including the following publications:
- The Rise of Cybersecurity Whistleblowing, NYU Law Compliance & Enforcement Blog (December 2016)
- Cybersecurity Whistleblowing: What Employees at Public
Companies Should Know Before Reporting Information Security Concerns, ISSA Journal (June 2016)
See our leading guide to cybersecurity whistleblower rewards and protections: Practitioners Guide to Cybersecurity Whistleblowing (November 2017).
If you have suffered retaliation for whistleblowing, contact us at 202-262-8959 to schedule a free consultation.
Guide to Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Whistleblower Protection Law
The whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides robust protection to corporate whistleblowers, and indeed some SOX whistleblowers have achieved substantial recoveries. Earlier this year, a former in-house counsel at a biotechnology company recovered $11 million in a SOX whistleblower retaliation case alleging that the company fired him for disclosing violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
On the fifteenth anniversary of SOX, leading whistleblower law firm Zuckerman Law released a free guide to the SOX whistleblower protection law: “Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection: Robust Protection for Corporate Whistleblowers.” The guide summarizes SOX whistleblower protections and offers concrete tips for corporate whistleblowers based on lessons learned during years of litigating SOX whistleblower cases.
The goal of the guide is to arm corporate whistleblowers with the knowledge to effectively combat whistleblower retaliation, avoid the pitfalls that can weaken a SOX whistleblower case, and formulate an effective strategy to obtain the maximum recovery.