Weslaco gets legal advice on combatting data breaches

WESLACO — The Weslaco ISD Board of Trustees has approved a letter of engagement with Pennsylvania-based law firm Mullen Coughlin LLC for legal advice and assistance with a potential data security incident.

The decision was made during a Dec. 17 board meeting.

Three days before approving the letter the district was attacked by ransomware that warranted an FBI investigation, disrupted online learning and prompted the district to caution parents and staff against releasing information after receiving a phone call or email.

Superintendent Priscilla Canales says the district does carry cyber liability insurance in the event of a network security event, cyber extortion threat and other related incidents.

“The cyber liability policy has a retention of $10,000. All expenses in excess are covered by the carrier,” she said.

According to its website, Mullen Coughlin provides services that include data breach response, regulatory investigation defense, pre-breach planning and compliance, and privacy litigation defense.

“When an organization experiences a potential or actual data security compromise, it is required by law — and sometimes by contract — to take certain steps to investigate and respond to the event, typically in a very short period of time,” the website reads. “Mullen Coughlin understands the need for speed and provides crisis management services (24) hours a day, seven days a week.”