Tara Swaminatha is a member of the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice. She represents clients in the healthcare, financial, technology, insurance, education, media and entertainment, shipping and logistics, retail, aerospace and nonprofit sectors. Tara has acted as outside cybersecurity counsel on some of the most significant data breaches in recent years and has defended clients against federal, state and international regulatory actions and related litigation.
During her time in private practice, Tara has advised multinational companies on cybersecurity liability risk assessments, internal compliance measures and incident response protocols. In the instance of security or privacy incidents, Tara led an incident response effort and served as her client’s subject matter expert. Her extensive knowledge of how digital evidence may be used to prove facts in litigation related to security incidents has enabled her to minimize her clients’ litigation exposure during incident responses, investigations and data breaches.
At the Department of Justice (DOJ), Tara directed technical forensic investigations for federal law enforcement agencies, assisted prosecutors and investigators across the country with computer crime-related cases, and prosecuted IP crimes to combat massive online piracy of entertainment software, motion pictures and business software. Adding to her legal dexterity, Tara’s clients benefit from her technical understanding of cybersecurity methods and issues, having been the Information Security Administrator for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, where she helped implement the IFC’s first information security policy for 3,000 employees worldwide. Her background also includes building networks and conducting application security risk assessments while working at a boutique security firm prior to becoming a lawyer.
In addition, Tara commits to considerable pro bono and volunteering activities. She represents pro bono juvenile clients seeking asylum and represents the National Association for the Education of Young Children on data governance and other matters. An active member of her community, she is a board member for the Hearing & Speech Center at Children’s National Medical Center and helps mentor families with children with hearing loss.
Tara is a frequent speaker on and writes extensively on security, privacy and cybercrime issues, having written one of the first textbooks on wireless security privacy and contributed to the National Association of Corporate Directors' Handbook on Cyber-Risk Oversight (2017 edition). She serves as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University Law School where she teaches Computer Crime Law. She is also recognized in The Legal 500 for Cyber Law, where she is “commended for her experience in high-profile data breach investigations” and “understands forensics and is able to digest technical reports in a meaningful and actionable way.”