Much has been said in the last few years about the potential for blockchain-based technology to radically change the way in which financial and commercial transactions are executed. The way that it would achieve this is by disintermediation: removing the need for a trusted intermediary to facilitate each transaction, and allowing business to be conducted in a peer-to-peer manner.
Cyber security breaches can cause lasting reputational damage for companies who fall victim, and potential legal action by customers too. To add to this there is now the confirmed risk of enforcement action by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In a ruling by the US Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit, poor cybersecurity is to be classed as a form of 'unfair competition', which places it within the remit of the FTC to regulate. This interpretation was challenged by the hotel group Wyndham Worldwide, which was on the receiving end of an FTC lawsuit that had begun in June 2012. The District Court sided with the FTC, and now the Court of Appeal has concurred. The original lawsuit continues, but Wyndham have suffered a serious setback.