News Releases

Post-Election Analysis on Cybersecurity, Cybercrime

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2016 - Baker Botts’ cybersecurity experts provide a post-election analysis on the impact on cybersecurity issues after President-elect Trump confirmed that “improving cybersecurity will be an immediate and top priority” for his administration. 

Doug Henkin - Litigation partner in the New York office 

“People underestimate how cybersecurity is actually both a people problem and a technology problem. Based on what we’re learning of President-elect Trump’s plan relating to cybersecurity and cybercrime, there are details about an approach for mandatory cybersecurity awareness training for all government employees.” 

“This appears to be a good development for setting a positive tone to lead from above with respect to best practices for protecting against cybersecurity threats and is also essential for corporations seeking to ensure good cybersecurity preparedness. Legal frameworks can be used to help develop in-house preparedness, and training personnel is essential to these frameworks to minimize the risk of attack, to be prepared for what to do if an attack occurs, and to ensure maximum efficacy of post-attack damage mitigation. It is essential to increase training as the new administration has recognized, while also remaining vigilant to how cyber attacks occur.” 

Guillermo Christensen - former CIA intelligence officer and U.S. diplomat, now Baker Botts associate in the Washington, D.C., office 

“In terms of the general threat environment, cybersecurity risks are driven by technological change—such as the Internet of Things—that evolve at ever increasing speeds. Ensuring the security of critical infrastructure will need to be a higher priority – the vulnerability of electric grids, the energy infrastructure and communications networks creates the potential for attacks with multiple knock-on effects for the economy and society.” 

“There are things that President-elect Trump could do to deter and frustrate cybercrime and improve the security and resilience of the U.S. economy. One would be to encourage U.S. companies and citizens to use the strongest possible encryption in personal and business environments, which would reduce the value that can be derived from cyber attacks and thus reduce attackers’ incentives to attack. Because of our open economy, the U.S. has much more to gain from being more secure from cybercrime and cyberattacks. 

“Another area that the new Administration could focus on would be to use targeted sanctions against individuals and entities involved in cyber attacks – the threat of doing so against certain countries reportedly has had some impact on the types of attacks that appeared to be coming from certain nation state actors.” 

Baker Botts’ Cybersecurity practice provides clients with counsel on preventing and responding to threats and breaches while accounting for businesses’ exposure to the risks of cybersecurity compromise, from both outward facing and internal threats. Lawyers guide clients on how to protect assets in healthcare, financial services, oil and gas, petrochemicals, power grid and power supply, interstate transmission, shipping, overland transportation systems and other sectors. Recognizing that cybersecurity is complex and requires consistent oversight, lawyers advise on how to engineer and oversee corporate systems, management, operations and transactions to reduce risk. If there is a breach, the team provides continuity of response from preparation to litigation. 

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit