Uptick in Cyber-Related FCA Cases Highlights Cybersecurity Obligations for Government Contractors
Tirzah Lollar, co-chair of the False Claims Act (FCA) practice, was quoted in a recent CSO Online article discussing the U.S. Justice Department’s recent settlement with Verizon Business Network Services to resolve FCA allegations related to the company’s alleged failure to satisfy required cybersecurity controls in connection with contracts with the General Services Administration to provide information technology service to federal agencies.
The settlement is the third False Claims Act settlement by the DOJ since the announcement of the department’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, which seeks to pursue cybersecurity related fraud by companies that do business with the federal government. “Since the initiative was announced in 2021, we have been expecting an uptick in these types of investigations and resolutions,” Lollar told CSO Online.
Given what appears to be the beginning of the uptick, Lollar cautioned that government contractors should “pay attention to what their cybersecurity compliance obligations are” when doing business with the federal government. “It’s no longer just about a potential breach of contract,” she said. “Now there’s a potential fraud case.”
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