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Healthcare Industry: The Top Target of Cyber Attacks


It is not an overstatement to acknowledge that 2014 has solidified its position as the “year of the hack.” While most are familiar with high profile attacks against Target, Home Depot and a host of other organizations across industries, it might come as a surprise that most data breaches occurred within the medical/healthcare category. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 600+ breaches have taken place through October 2014—up nearly 26 percent from 2013. Healthcare providers and organizations account for approximately 42 percent of all breaches with 7.4 million personal records exposed this year alone.
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Recent IRS Anti-Inversion Proposals: Notice 2014-52


A corporate transaction that has received considerable publicity in recent months is the so-called “inversion” where a public U.S. company migrates to a foreign country, typically by merging with a smaller foreign company and thereby becoming a subsidiary of a new public foreign company (“Foreign Parent”). Not surprisingly, the potential for income tax savings usually is among the key objectives of an inversion transaction.   The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and a complicated set of rules designed to tax the earnings of foreign subsidiaries of a U.S. company, while a number of foreign jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, have become attractive alternatives for a public company to organize by offering lower corporate tax rates and tax exemptions for earnings derived from operations conducted outside their borders.
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More Stringent Safe Harbor Requirements: The Right Prescription?


Privacy issues raise questions for pharmaceutical companies and the future of cross-border data sharing under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor program. Rolled out in 2000 between the United States and European Union, the program helps U.S. companies satisfy E.U. data protection laws when receiving personal data from the E.U. Participating companies self-certify that they follow a core set of privacy principles. These principles include the duty to notify users regarding the purpose for which their information is collected and the obligation to provide individuals with an opportunity to opt-out of disclosures to third-parties or uses other than those for which the data was originally collected. Companies also represent that they will secure the personal data. Of the nearly 5,000 U.S. companies that have certified that they abide by the Safe Harbor framework, 238 identify themselves as part of the drugs or pharmaceutical industry.
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