Craig A. Hoffman

Partner

Cincinnati
T +1.513.929.3491
F +1.513.929.0303

"Craig is distinguished by his wealth of experience in responding to information and data incidents. 'He can cut through the jargon in a way that is clear and makes problems more tangible'."

— Chambers Global (USA) 2021

Overview

Craig Hoffman is a digital risk advisor engaged to guide clients on issues related to use of technology and data. He is well known for using his litigation experience and insights from helping entities address thousands of security incidents to develop prioritized privacy and cybersecurity strategies and effectively respond to security incidents. Visibility to what allows incidents to occur, outcomes of decisions made and measures taken to improve going forward from security incidents of all sizes enables Craig to immediately forecast what is coming, offer prioritized recommendations and then operationalize decisions into actions.

Craig co-leads the Digital Risk Advisory and Cybersecurity team – a team that helps entities address hundreds of security incidents a year and the resulting regulatory and litigation matters that follow. Clients turn to Craig to address the privacy compliance, operational and security related enterprise risks generated by their use of technology, such as data security incidents, post-incident regulatory defense and litigation, payment card network assessments, post-incident security enhancements, incident response preparedness, security and risk assessments, technology contracts and due diligence related to transactions..

In particular, Craig is internationally known as a go-to attorney for payment card security incidents after leading over 200 entities through payment card security incidents and the resulting PCI DSS revalidation process and payment card network liability assessments. Additionally, he has extensive experience with retail, restaurant, hospitality, financial services and technology companies.

Craig has conducted hundreds of incident response training and cybersecurity exercises for incident response teams, executive teams and boards of directors. These sessions help clients contextualize the critical issues and decisions they will face in an incident so they can identity how to build plans that will allow them to respond in a way that meets organizational goals, minimizes risk and protects key relationships.

Craig is ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and the Legal 500, was chosen for the Cybersecurity Docket “Incident Response 30” and has been selected multiple times as an Acritas Star and BTI Client Service All-Star. He is a featured speaker on topics such as reasonable security, incident response and other digital risk areas.

Select Experience

Incident Response

Craig has led entities through thousands of data security incidents, including some of the largest matters affecting entities in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, financial services, and technology industries.

Incident Response Preparedness

Craig has worked with hundreds of entities to create or enhance existing incident response plans. He works with incident response teams, executive management teams, and board members to test incident response plans and enhance response capabilities by conducting interactive incident response training sessions and tabletop exercises. He also helps organizations vet and engage forensic firms prior to an incident.

Digital Risk Advisory

Craig has led entities through investigations by US state attorneys general, multi-state attorneys general groups, the FTC, EU supervisory authorities, and other international data protection regulatory authorities.

Cybersecurity Advisory

Craig leverages the experience he has gained through managing thousands of incidents to help entities:

  • Identify, develop, prioritize, and implement risk-based security enhancements, which may include leveraging analysis from external security firms (e.g., red team exercises, security assessments, penetration tests).
  • Address third-party exploitation and misuse of technology, such online account credential stuffing and account takeovers.
  • Conduct due diligence in corporate transactions, including evaluating the target’s privacy and security risk posture, negotiating appropriate representations and warranties, and conducting pre-acquisition compromise assessments. After closing Craig works with the acquiring entity to develop an appropriate plan to integrate the target.
  • Develop vendor management and technology contract programs, as well as to negotiate significant agreements, such as key cloud-based services and new payment card security technology.
  • Develop cybersecurity enterprise risk management programs by working with entities, executive management teams, audit committees, and boards of directors, including implementing components of reasonable security, building a cybersecurity roadmap, and cybersecurity maturity assessments.
More »

Experience

  • Incident response counsel to restaurant and hotel franchisors involving matters where the franchisor worked with hundreds of its franchisees to identify, investigate, and provide notification of payment card security incidents, as well as any resulting litigation, payment card network liability assessments, regulatory inquiries, and post-incident payment technology security enhancement efforts with franchisees.
  • Incident response counsel and post-disclosure counsel for Marriott regarding the Starwood security incident that was disclosed on November 30, 2018.
  • Engaged by a credit reporting agency in September 2017 to provide legal advice regarding aspects of its response to a significant security incident.
  • Preparing incident response plans and conducting incident response training and tabletop exercises for response teams, executives and board members. Craig has conducted more than 150 different sessions and exercises for companies in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Advising restaurants, hotels, and retailers on authentication measures, payment acceptance, and loyalty programs for their web and mobile apps.
  • Conducting pre- and post-acquisition due diligence and compromise assessments of hotels, restaurants, and technology service providers.
  • Engaging security firms to conduct red team exercises, penetration test, compromise assessments, security risk assessments, and cybersecurity maturing assessments.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers Global
    • Privacy & Data Security (USA) (2014 to 2021) – Band 2
  • Chambers USA
    • Nationwide Privacy & Data Security: Band 3 (2019, 2020 to 2021); Recognized Practitioner (2017, 2018)
    • Nationwide Privacy & Data Security: Incident Response: Spotlight Table (2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2016 to 2017, 2020 to 2021)
    • Leading Lawyer in Media, Technology and Telecoms - Cyber Law (including data privacy and protection) (2020 to 2021)
    • Recommended in Cyber law (including data protection and privacy) (2017)
    • Recommended in Data Protection and Privacy (2016)
  • Cybersecurity Docket "Incident Response 30" (2016)
  • Acritas Star (2015 to 2019)
  • Law360 "Rising Star" in Privacy (2015)
  • BTI Client Service All-Star (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2009 to 2012)
  • Dayton Business Journal: "Forty Under 40" (2008)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP): Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)

Memberships

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers: Member of Class XIV (2010)

News

News

Press Releases

Prior Positions

  • Law Clerk for the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge Thomas F. Phalen

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Kentucky, 2008
  • Ohio, 2002

Education

  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2002
  • B.A., University of Cincinnati, 1999

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Counsel
A Digital Advertising Primer on Preparing for the Post-Cookie World: Part Two
By Fernando A. Bohorquez Jr., Yadilsa Diaz, Gerald J. Ferguson
January 12, 2022
Part I: What Are Third-Party Cookies and Why they are Important — PART II — Privacy Laws And Third-Party Cookies Welcome to our second installment in our five-part series preparing you for the post-cookie world. In our first post, we...
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Data Counsel
AdTech: Regulation, Compliance and Where We are Heading
January 10, 2022
Partners Fernando Bohorquez, Gerald Ferguson, Linda Goldstein and Jeewon Serrato, and Associate Justin Yedor served as panelists in a recent article published in the January 2022 issue of Financier Worldwide. In the article, they offer...
Read More ->
Data Counsel
The Scourge of Ransomware
By Elise R. Elam, Craig A. Hoffman
May 13, 2021
Our 2021 Data Security Incident Response Report (DSIR) described ransomware as a scourge. There are stories every day about new threat actor groups and their victims. There are task forces, law enforcement initiatives, discussions by...
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Data Counsel
The Destruction of Privilege and Work Product Protection for Data Breach Investigations?
By Joseph L. Bruemmer, David A. Carney, Casie D. Collignon, Craig A. Hoffman, Thomas E. Hogan, Theodore J. Kobus III, Aleksandra Vold
June 17, 2020
Attorneys play an important role in the incident response process. A skilled and experienced attorney can help organizations effectively respond to a security incident in a way that complies with obligations, protects key relationships...
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Data Counsel
DSIR Deeper Dive: Using Compromise Threat Intelligence
By Craig A. Hoffman
May 7, 2020
Organizations are under tremendous pressure to be agile and resilient. A key part of building a mature cybersecurity posture to enable the goals of the organization is conducting ongoing risk assessments and then implementing...
Read More ->