The Case For Lawyers as Cyber-Risk Leaders

By on December 1, 2015

Steven Chabinsky, CrowdStrike

The author presents this article as an opening statement in a trial and proceeds to make his case. He submits that attorneys are fully capable of driving cyber risk management discussions and outcomes, and that there are two compelling reasons for them to do so. First, there is exceptionally strong client demand. Lawyers, whether corporate or outside counsel, are increasingly expected to understand the implications of cyber security when providing advice relating to a variety of issues. As a trusted neutral advisor, a lawyer is uniquely qualified to help clients navigate risk issues.

Second is the matter of complying with professional ethics obligations. Hackers and foreign intelligence operatives are stealing sensitive information from law firm networks and in-house counsel. As lawyers adopt new technologies, they must consider security ramifications.

Cybersecurity presents a growing risk to attorneys and their clients. In addition to the liability and ethical issues that poor cybersecurity may bring to a practice, cybersecurity is becoming a market differentiator. Clients have begun to retain lawyers based both on their ability to provide subject matter expertise and their ability to adequately secure information.

Put another way, attorneys who fail to understand the dynamics of cybersecurity and who also fail to implement adequate information security practices are losing business or in house promotions to those who do. If you are an attorney who is not competent in cybersecurity matters, it is past time to gain those skills.

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