It's reasonable to fear negative press. Sales may be adversely affected, and the public's confidence can be shaken. Furthermore, many states have enacted data breach notification laws that can cause a company's legal fees to mount. On the other hand, a decision not to come forward could work against you in court later, and law enforcement has sophisticated forensic and legal tools not available to private industry. However, reporting isn't as simple as it sounds. The President's Identity Theft Task Force has recommended the creation of national standards for data protection and data breach notification requirements that would pre-empt the multitude of existing state laws. The Task Force also recommended the establishment of a national identity theft law enforcement center to harmonize identity theft and data breach reporting. But as of this writing, neither of these recommendations has been acted on. Unfortunately, this makes reporting to law enforcement confusing, as there's no clear-cut hierarchy. In our report, we describe a methodology for reporting to law enforcement agencies that deal with cybercrime.
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