Legal disclaimers are an essential part of any legal agreement or document.
They serve to protect individuals, businesses, and organizations from legal liability by defining the boundaries of responsibility and liability. Legal disclaimers are used to limit potential damages that may arise from using a product or service, and to inform users of potential risks associated with a product or service. They also provide transparency and ensure that users are fully informed of any potential limitations, risks, or restrictions associated with the use of a product or service. Legal disclaimers play an important role in promoting honesty, integrity, and fairness in the business and legal world, and are a vital tool for ensuring that parties are protected and fully aware of their rights and obligations.
Legal disclaimers are particularly important in cybersecurity audit reports, as they help to establish the scope and limitations of the audit. A cybersecurity audit report provides an analysis of the security measures in place for an organization's information systems and identifies any potential vulnerabilities. Legal disclaimers in these reports are used to limit the auditor's liability and to clarify the scope of the audit. They also highlight that the audit is not a guarantee of complete security and that the organization may still be vulnerable to cyber threats. By including legal disclaimers in cybersecurity audit reports, the auditor can ensure that both the organization and the auditor are protected against any potential legal action or liability. Additionally, legal disclaimers ensure that the report is transparent and that the organization understands the limitations of the audit. Overall, legal disclaimers are a crucial aspect of cybersecurity audit reports, ensuring that the report is comprehensive, accurate, and legally compliant.
An example of a legal disclaimer that may be included in a cybersecurity audit report is as follows:
"This report is based on information provided to us and our own observations during the audit. We have conducted the audit in accordance with generally accepted cybersecurity auditing standards. However, our audit has limitations, and we cannot guarantee that all vulnerabilities and security issues have been identified. This report is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a complete representation of the security of the organization's information systems. We do not accept responsibility for any losses or damages that may arise from the use of this report or any reliance on the findings contained herein. It is important to note that cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and the organization's security posture may change at any time. Our findings are accurate as of the date of the audit and may not reflect the current state of the organization's security posture." This disclaimer sets out the scope and limitations of the audit and provides a clear indication to the organization that the audit report should not be solely relied upon for the organization's cybersecurity measures.
It is important to note that the above disclaimer is only for general use and may not be sufficient for cybersecurity audit reports for certain clients, such as banking or blockchain clients. These clients may require more comprehensive disclaimers due to the nature of their business and the increased risks associated with their operations. For example, a disclaimer for a banking or blockchain client may need to include language that specifically addresses the regulatory requirements and industry standards that the audit is based upon. The disclaimer may also need to outline any legal or compliance risks associated with the client's business and explicitly state the limitations of the audit, including any areas that were not tested or reviewed.Overall, the level of detail and comprehensiveness of the disclaimer should be tailored to the specific needs and requirements of the client and the industry.
An example of a legal disclaimer that may be included in a cybersecurity audit report for a banking or blockchain client is as follows:
"This assessment is subject to the terms and conditions (including, without limitation, confidentiality, disclaimer and limitation of liability)set forth in the Master Services Agreement (the “Agreement”). This assessment provided in connection with the Services set forth in the Agreement shall be used by the Client only to the extent permitted under the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement. This assessment may not be transmitted, disclosed, referred to or relied upon by any person for any purposes without ServiceProvider’s prior written consent.
This assessment is not, nor should be considered, an“endorsement” or “disapproval” of any particular project or team. This assessment is not, nor should it be considered, an indication of the economics or value of any “product” or “asset” created by any team or project that contracts Service Provider to perform a security assessment. This assessment does not provide any warranty or guarantee regarding the absolute bug-free nature of the technology analyzed, nor do they provide any indication of the Client’s businesses model or legal compliance. Further, this assessment does not warrant, endorse or guarantee any third-party product or service that maybe referenced herein, and Service Provider is not a party to or in any way responsible for monitoring any transaction between Client and any such third-party.
This assessment should not be used in any way to make decisions around investment or involvement with any particular project. This assessment in no way provides investment advice, nor should be leveraged as investment advice of any sort. This assessment represents an extensive assessing process intending to help our clients increase the quality of their code while reducing the high-level risk presented by cryptographic tokens and blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology and cryptographic assets present a high level of ongoing risk. Service Provider’s position is that each company and individual are responsible for their own due diligence and continuous security. Service Provider’s goal is to help reduce the attack vectors and the high level of variance associated with utilizing new and consistently changing technologies, and in no way claims any guarantee of security or functionality of the technology we agree to analyze.”
April 17, 2023